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The collapse of Turkish army’s health and education system

Food poisoning incidents at military barracks in Turkey shed light on the far-reaching effects of the Turkish army’s loss of deep-rooted health and education institutions in the wake of last year’s attempted coup.
Turkish soldiers carry a huge national flag and a portrait of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey, during a military parade marking the 93rd anniversary of Victory Day in Ankara, Turkey, August 30, 2015. REUTERS/Umit Bektas - RTX1Q9O8

In late May, more than 1,000 soldiers from a land forces brigade in the western Turkish province of Manisa were hospitalized for food poisoning, and one of them lost his life. The problem at the barracks, where 6,000 new conscripts are receiving training, was described as intestinal infection, but the detailed medical analyses of samples from affected soldiers have not been released. On June 17, a new bout of mass food poisonings occurred in Manisa. Around the same time, dozens of soldiers were hospitalized also in Kastamonu and Diyarbakir, again with food poisoning symptoms.

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and other opposition parties raised the issue in parliament, proposing an inquiry commission to investigate the food poisoning incidents. The proposal was voted down by lawmakers of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), who hold the majority in the legislature.

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