Turkey launches one of its biggest operations against contraband alcohol


The Interior Ministry said on Monday that a nationwide operation codenamed “Alcohol” had been launched amid a growing number of deaths from smuggled alcohol across Turkey.

At least 68 people have died in the country since the second week of December after consuming illegal drinks they bought illegally or brewed at home.

Police and gendarmerie have searched 23,103 locations as part of a crackdown on illegal drink sellers, the ministry said, adding that 20,863 people were participating in operations “to restrict access to contraband drinks. / smuggling to protect public health “.

Among the places searched were legal vendors suspected of secretly selling counterfeit drinks.

Illegal alcohol consumption has flourished in the country, where the prices of alcoholic beverages are considerably high for regular drinkers.

Taking advantage of the situation, contraband alcohol producers often turn to cheaper but more lethal substances for production.

Experts say methyl alcohol in contraband drinks is either deadly or has a long-term impact on the health of consumers. Those who escaped death often suffer from sight loss, and for others, illicit drinks cause perception disturbances and kidney failure. Even a small amount of methyl alcohol can prove fatal for drinkers.

Legal drinks contain both ethyl and methyl alcohol, but they are distilled and separated from the final product during the production process, which illegal producers and sellers refrain from.

Associate Professor Yücel Yüzbaşıoğlu, an emergency medical expert from the University of Health Sciences, claims that methyl alcohol cannot be easily processed by the body, and within 10 hours of consuming it, drinkers can need hospitalization.

“The first symptoms are headache, vomiting and damage to the eye nerves. It is essential that people who suffer from these symptoms are hospitalized as soon as possible (to avoid dying),” he said. at the Anadolu Agency (AA).

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