71 convicted for attacking doctors in Turkey

71 convicted for attacking doctors in Turkey

ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
71 convicted for attacking doctors in Turkey

This file photo shows a health union Sağlık-Sen’s protest in Aegean province of Uşak after an attack against a doctor. DHA photo

The courts have decided on convictions in 71 cases on charges of verbal attacks on doctors in more than 4,300 cases in Turkey in one year, Health Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu has said.

A total of 4,339 doctors were exposed to verbal attacks between May 2012 and May 2013 and defendants in 71 of these cases were found guilty, Müezzinoğlu said, in response to a written question from opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy Özcan Yeniçeri.

Müezzinoğlu said the related White Code Unit to investigate such incidents was only founded on May 14, 2012, and that they did not have any records before this date.

He also stated that 2,513 cases had been forwarded to the courts, with the courts issuing guilty convictions in 71 cases and acquitting the suspects in 13 cases.

Turkish health workers have been waging a war against violence against doctors for over a year, spurred by the murder of Ersin Arslan at the hands of his patient’s relatives in the southern province of Gaziantep. Thousands of health workers did not attend to their medical duties on April 17, the one-year anniversary of Arslan’s murder, while a Parliament commission released a report containing recommendations on how to prevent violence against health workers.

Arslan was stabbed to death by the relatives of a patient he had been treating.