Ali Aksoyer - Hayati Kılıç - Tahsin Güner - Mehmet İlkay Özer / Istanbul, Oct 29 () - Counterfeit rakı consumption has killed nine and poisoned 47 more, prompting police to launch operations in four Istanbul districts, detaining 15 suspected of producing bootleg alcohol.
Seven people were admitted to Samatya Training and Research Hospital in Istanbul’s Fatih district with complaints including deliquium, severe stomachache, vomiting and sight impairment within the last three days.
Officers from the homicide department launched an investigation after one of the patients, Ercan Tümey, passed away due to alcohol poisoning.
15 detained for supplying, selling bootleg alcohol
After consulting with the Forensic Medicine Institution, the homicide department determined that eight people, including a male who remains unidentified, were killed due to methyl-alcohol since Oct. 26.
Police raided a number of addresses after determining that the counterfeit alcohol was being sold in shops in Fatih, Küçükçekmece, Bağcılar, Esenler and Gaziosmanpaşa districts.
Fifteen people were detained for producing, supplying and selling bootleg alcohol.
Mechanisms used in bootleg alcohol production and bottles of counterfeit alcohol were seized in the suspects’ houses.
Health Ministry announces 47 poisinings
In a written statement, Turkey’s Health Ministry announced that 47 people had been admitted to hospitals due to alcohol poisoning since Oct. 18, six of whom later died.
“Seven of our patients are still at risk of death, out of a total of 23 patients who are still undergoing treatment in hospitals,” the statement said.
While the police continue operations, the Health Ministry stated that the public would be informed about any new developments.