Turkey makes ethanol ‘bitter’ after high taxes lead to homemade drinks

High taxes on alcoholic beverages encouraged Turks to produce their own drinks at home, and now the Turkish government is taking steps to make homemade alcohol undrinkable, a finance news website Borsatek reported.

After the increased sales of pure ethanol (or ethyl alcohol) for home-producing drinks, the government issued a new regulation on the Turkish official gazette, entering into force right before the New Year’s Eve, with a three-month deadline, the report said.

Producers are now required to add a note on ethyl alcohol bottles that should read “Not suitable for consumption,” and add denatonium benzoate, a bitter chemical used as repellent agent for humans and animals, such as in bitter nail polish for preventing nail biting.

High taxes previously lead to use of poisonous methanol (methyl alcohol) in counterfeit drinks which caused deaths and blindness.