Turkish police launched operations against smuggled and counterfeit drinks ahead of New Year's celebrations, an occasion where alcohol consumption peaks in Turkey. More than 6,500 bottles of counterfeit and smuggled drinks were seized in nationwide operations, along with 1,535 liters of counterfeit drinks.
Police announced yesterday that 168 suspects were detained in operations and unlicensed alcoholic drink sellers were fined, while two breweries for the production of fake drinks were shut down.
Bootleg liquor killed 34 people in one month in Istanbul three years ago. Despite inspections and operations, bootleg raki, a popular aniseed-flavored beverage, is still popular in the country. Health authorities regularly warn the public against the dangers of bootleg liquor, which can cause death, loss of sight, heart diseases, liver failure and other serious conditions.
Bootleg drinks have claimed about 10,000 lives worldwide over the past decade and more than 100 people fell victim to the deadly beverages in Turkey. They are especially popular in poor, underdeveloped countries or in countries like Turkey where acting without precaution is modus operandi for some drinkers. It is, after all, where the motto of recklessness, "doing it once won't kill you," was born, a saying used for people taking drugs or drinking alcohol.