Sun, 20 Sep 2020

Reports from Turkey say at least 37 labor migrants from Turkmenistan have died from drinking tainted alcohol during the past week.

At least 38 people have died after drinking the illegally sold alcohol in Istanbul, RFE/RL correspondents report.

Many of the deceased from the Central Asian, former Soviet republic have reportedly been buried at Kilyos Mezarligi cemetery in Istanbul.

One cemetery worker said he'd been warned that there would be more victims to bury.

On most of the freshly dug graves, there were only numbers to identify where the bodies of victims had been buried.

Reports say relatives of those victims were unable to transport their bodies back to Turkmenistan due to the cancellation of international flights over the coronavirus pandemic.

RFE/RL has confirmed that relatives of victims have faced bureaucratic hurdles trying to repatriate bodies in the midst of the ecoronavirus travel restrictions and border closures.

Police in Istanbul say they have arrested at least 11 people suspected of selling the illegally produced alcohol.

Turkish police have also reportedly confiscated tainted vodka along with guns and ammunition in the possession of suspects when they were arrested.

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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