Update: 43 die from bootleg alcohol poisoning in Turkey

At least 43 people have died from bootleg alcohol poisoning in seven cities in Turkey in one week, NTV news broadcaster reported Tuesday.

The number of people who consumed methyl alcohol and died in the hospital in the western city of Izmir increased to 18, while the death toll in Istanbul grew to seven on Tuesday.

The other five affected cities are Kirikkale, Mersin, Aydin, Mugla and Trabzon.

Turkish police have launched extensive raids on workplaces, warehouses and residences across the country to crack down on the production and sale of bootleg alcohol.

More than seven tons of bootleg ethyl alcohol was seized in Turkey’s largest city of Istanbul and in the southern city of Adana, semi-official Anadolu Agency reported Tuesday.

Separately, Izmir’s provincial police department seized five tons of fake alcohol, NTV broadcaster reported Tuesday.

The death incidents come as prices of alcoholic beverages have surged in Turkey after steep taxes on alcohol.

A large amount of methyl alcohol under the name of ethyl alcohol was introduced to the market as the latter’s sales will be banned from Nov. 1, NTV reported quoting anonymous police officials.