Ninety-two dead from Turkish bootleg booze in two months

Ninety-two people in Turkey have died of poisoning from bootleg alcohol since October, Turkish news website Diken reported on Wednesday.

The deaths occurred in at least 13 provinces including Izmir, Istanbul and Bursa, Diken said.

Rising alcohol prices in Turkey, caused largely by higher taxes, have pushed Turks to produce and consume more counterfeit spirits in recent years. This has caused a rise in alcohol poisoning cases as more people turned to black market alternatives.

Police in Ankara raided nearly 600 establishments between January and October, arresting 159 people charged with producing and selling bootleg alcohol. They seized over 77,000 litres of alcohol-based contraband, Diken said.

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