Turkey detains 21 workers over mass army food poisoning
Twenty-one employees of a Turkish catering firm providing food for soldiers were detained by authorities on Sunday, after allegedly poisoning more than 700 troops in the west of the country.
The workers, who were employed with the catering contractor who supplied a meal of soup, rice, chicken and yoghurt, were detained, according to Manisa chief prosecutor Akif Celalettin Simsek, according to the Anadolu news agency.
A total of 731 soldiers required medical attention after an outbreak of food poisoning, a statement said, confirming all those affected were rushed to hospital with stomach pains and dizziness.
Local opposition MP Tur Yildiz Bicer posted pictures on Twitter of soldiers slumped on benches in the hospital and others on a drip.
The situation is all the more alarming for the army because less than a month ago, the same barracks was struck by food poisoning in which one soldier died.
In a sign of the authorities' concern, Defence Minister Fikri Isik visited the sick soldiers in hospital overnight, saying all were set to make a full recovery.
"We don't see a significant problem, just some of our soldiers are being kept in for observation," he said. "No one is in intensive care or has their life in danger".
Isik said 200 soldiers had been hospitalised after the May food poisoning incident, which was caused by salmonella bacteria.