The Ministry of Health announced Thursday the results of its examination on the case of the poisoning of 731 soldiers in Turkey's western province of Manisa, saying that the soldiers suffered from food poisoning occurred due to the preparation process before cooking meals.
On June 17, 731 soldiers stationed at the 1st Infantry Training Battalion Command in Manisa suffered from nausea, diarrhea and vomiting after a dinner. Defense Minister Fikri Işık had stated that 590 soldiers needed medical care and 372 soldiers were transferred to hospitals, while others were treated inside the military compound. A total of 72 soldiers remained in hospitals the next day.
The initial suspicions were concentrated on the meals provided to the compound by a catering company. However, officials stated that the incident was being investigated thoroughly to eliminate all suspicions and rumors.
Six sergeants and commissioned officers in charge of the food inspection department of the military compound were detained late Wednesday over the incident. Separately, six workers from the catering company were arrested, and three were released under judicial control. The CEO of the company was also among the arrested.
21 people - including executives and quality-control officials - working for the catering company that provided the tainted meal had been detained on Sunday as part of the investigation into the incident.
Shortly after the incident, the Manisa Governorate announced that food services from the catering firm were suspended and meals would be provided to the base temporarily.
More than 1,000 soldiers were hospitalized in the same military compound on May 23 after consuming the food and one death was reported.
On June 16, 69 soldiers suffering from similar symptoms were also hospitalized.
Meanwhile 35 soldiers, who completed their training in Manisa and were dispatched to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) were also hospitalized with similar symptoms in Nicosia. One was in critical condition.