A total of 590 Turkish soldiers were hospitalized late Saturday in western Manisa province following complaints of nausea and vomiting, Defense Minister Fikri Işık said late Saturday.
The soldiers’ complaints at the 1st Infantry Training Battallion Command began after the dinner meal. Manisa prosecutor’s office said in a statement on Sunday that 731 soldiers were affected from the meal.
Defense Minister Fikri Işık and Commander of Turkish Land Forces Gen. Zeki Çolak arrived in Manisa to oversee the issue. Speaking to reporters after visiting soldiers at the hospital, Işık said that out of 590 soldiers, 372 were transferred to hospitals while the others were treated inside the military compound. 72 soldiers remained in hospitals and none of them are in critical condition, Işık said.
Police early Sunday arrested 21 employees, including executives, of the catering company that provides food to the military at the compound where the incident occurred, Manisa prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
On May 23, more than 1,000 soldiers were hospitalized in the same military compound after the dinner and one died.
On Saturday, 69 soldiers suffering from similar symptoms were also hospitalized.
Meanwhile 35 soldiers, who completed their training in Manisa and dispatched to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), were also hospitalized with similar symptoms in Nicosia. One remains in critical condition.