Brigade commander in Manisa dismissed over food poisoning incidents

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Brigade Commander Col. Şevki Güvenç (R)

Brigade Commander Col. Şevki Güvenç has been removed from his post over the food poisoning of more than 1,000 soldiers in Manisa in the last month, the Hürriyet daily reported on Friday.

Güvenç, who was dismissed upon the order of Defense Minister Fikri Işık, was subsequently summoned to the Training and Doctrine Command in Ankara.

Işık said in a statement that an investigation looking into the possibility of neglect of duty among military staff had been launched and that allegations of “sabotage” were under investigation.

The Turkish Ministry of Health announced on Thursday that soldiers who were hospitalized at the end of May in Manisa due to suspected food poisoning had contracted salmonella.

According to a statement from the ministry, investigation into the food poisoning of more than 1,000 soldiers in Manisa during the last couple of weeks is still ongoing, while the cause of another food poisoning incident in May was found to be the salmonella bacteria. On May 26, 1,049 soldiers were poisoned and one died while 70 other soldiers were also poisoned in another incident on May 27.

Forty people, including the general manager of the catering firm, have been detained in relation to the food poisoning of soldiers during the last couple of weeks.

The Manisa Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement earlier this week that the number of detentions had reached 40 and that some employees of Rota Catering were also detained after the fourth food poisoning incident at the military base in Manisa.

Rota Catering’s general manager, with whom the company parted ways due to the food poisoning incidents, was detained in Ankara on Wednesday.

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