Turkey, illegal alcohol

At least 32 dead in Turkey for consuming bootleg alcohol

Deaths continue to rise in Turkey from consuming methanol. Experts warn that methyl alcohol can cause blindness and death.

The death toll from consuming bootleg alcohol in Turkey now rises to at least 32 people, after new deaths have occurred in several provinces of the country in recent hours.

According to the latest information published in Turkish media, in the province of İzmir – the third most populous in Turkey – there are already 16 deaths from drinking illegal alcohol, while dozens more people remain in serious condition and under hospital treatment, so the death toll could increase in the next few hours.

In Mersin, in the south of the country, 5 people who had been admitted to the hospital with symptoms of having consumed adulterated alcohol died in the last hours, while another 7 people died from the same circumstances in Kırıkkale. One death has also been reported in Istanbul province, another in Aydın, and two more in the resort town of Bodrum in Muğla province.

Following the latest deaths, the police have carried out several operations against the production of illegal alcohol, after it was discovered that several of the deceased had consumed homemade drinks made from methyl alcohol.

Consumption of methyl alcohol causes blindness, even death

Doctors warn that even a single glass of adulterated alcohol made from methyl alcohol or methanol is lethal. Methanol is used primarily as paint thinner, as window cleaner, or for production of perfumes; although it is extremely toxic to humans, it is frequently used in the production of illegal alcohol because it is cheaper and easier to obtain than ethyl alcohol.

Another problem that healthcare personnel in Turkey face when detecting adulterated alcohol consumption is that it is not always easy to detect symptoms in time. “Symptoms usually occur 10-24 hours after consuming it; headaches and vision loss begin. As soon as people feel these symptoms, which are different from normal alcohol consumption, they should seek medical help. If it is not treated in time, it can cause death or blindness“, experts warn.