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How to spot—and avoid—fake alcohol in Turkey

28th April 2015


Across the popular tourist locations Turkish authorities are clamping down on fake alcohol. Local councils are testing the alcoholic beverages of all bars and restaurants to insure they are selling legitimate alcohol.

Unfortunately the high taxes imposed on alcohol in Turkey have made counterfeiting of drinks a potentially lucrative business

How to spot fake alcohol

If any alcohol tastes or smells bad, don't drink it. Particularly look out for the smell of nail varnish.

To check that your bottle is real the seal around the top should not be broken and have a serial number on it.

The liquid should be perfectly clear

Packaging: Look out for:

Poor quality labelling, including things like spelling mistakes. 

duty stamp— genuine spirits have a duty stamp,They’re usually incorporated into the label or stuck on the glass bottle. If it’s not there, it’s illegal

Never buy alcohol from a street trader, instead purchase alcohol from the large supermarkets such as Migros,Kipa or Carrefour.

Remember - If a bar/club/shop is offering cheap deals on alcohol be suspicious.


Fake alcohol is mixed with methanol making the drink toxic.

This can cause nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, drowsiness and dizziness. 

Further symptoms include. 

Mouth becoming dry



Temperature raising sharply, sweating and unable to cool down

Vomiting, although this can be good for getting it out of your system.

If you experience any of these symptoms seek medical assistance immediately. 

It is important to remember that the vast majority of alcohol in the Turkey is sold legitimately. Most restaurants, bars and off licenses are legitimate businesses and would not sell counterfeit alcohol.

If you are at all suspicious of an establishment do not hesitate to report the bar/restaurant/hotel to either the local Zabita, police or Jandarma.




For Turkish Residence Permit Health Insurance, see below link


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