Turkey, deaths by bootleg alcohol consumption

At least 6 dead and 16 in critical condition due to bootleg alcohol

The number of victims may increase. In 2020, 92 people died in Turkey in just one month from drinking bootleg alcohol.

The number of those affected in Turkey by the consumption of bootleg alcohol now has risen to 6 dead and another 16 people who are hospitalised in intensive care, with authorities not ruling out for now that new deaths may occur because new cases appear in hospitals with symptoms of intoxication.

So far all the deaths have occured in the Çorlu district of Tekirdağ province, located west of Istanbul; the first fatality was registered last week, when Ikhlague Hussam, a man of Pakistani origin, was found unconscious on the street and taken to hospital, where his death from illegal alcohol consumption was certified.

Since that first death was recorded on June 24, there have been at least 24 hospital admissions for the same cause in Tekirdağ, of which 16 are in intensive care units (8 of them intubated), and the number of deaths – 5 men and a woman – continues to increase.

After registering the first victims, the local authorities launched an investigation with several inspections and raids in shops and houses, confiscating the police up to 52 litres of illegally manufactured alcohol. At the moment, at least five people have been detained in connection with these raids, two of whom have been arrested.

Adulterated alcohol causes blindness and death

The problem of adulterated alcohol consumption in Turkey is not new, and behind is the increase in the prices of legal alcohol, which is why many people without resources are turning to the black market for cheaper alcohol.

The problem is that this is made from methyl alcohol (methanol), a cheaper but more toxic component than ethyl alcohol that is used to make solvents and cleaning products, which can cause blindness and even death. In 2020, 92 people died in 14 provinces across Turkey in just over a month, in another incident involving bootleg alcohol consumption.