IZMIR, Turkey

The death toll from alcohol poisoning in Turkey has risen to 69, according to data compiled by Anadolu Agency.

Since Oct. 9, at least 27 people in Turkey’s Aegean Izmir province have died of methyl alcohol poisoning, along with 10 in Istanbul, eight in western Aydin, seven in central Kirikkale and southern Mersin each, three in northwestern Kirklareli, two in southwestern Mugla, northern Zonguldak and northwestern Tekirdag each, and one in the Black Sea Trabzon province.

Nationwide raids against producers have increased in the country.

As many as 442 suspects have been held in operations and 94 of them have been remanded in custody.

Police teams on Thursday seized 8,840 liters of bootleg alcohol in the central Corum province, some 3,230 liters in the Iskenderun district of the southern Hatay province, 283 liters in Mersin and 1,980 liters in the Torbali district of Izmir.

Police also raided a depot in the Turgutlu district of the Aegean province of Manisa, which keeps nearly 20 tons of bootleg wine.

Due to its low cost, bootleg alcohol made with methyl alcohol instead of ethyl alcohol causes serious harm to human health, as well as deaths.

Illegally produced liquor is often laced with methanol, which can cause permanent blindness, metabolic disturbances, and death.

*Writing by Gozde Bayar

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