Doctors strike to protest Kamil Furtun’s murder
DHA PhotoDoctors went on a nationwide strike for one day on June 1, as the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) announced late last week it was calling all its member doctors to go on a strike to protest the killing of Kamil Furtun, a thoracic surgeon who was shot dead while on duty on May 29 in a public hospital in the Black Sea province of Samsun.
In the Samsun Thoracic Diseases and Surgery Hospital, where Furtun, 56, had been working, his colleagues stopped serving - except for urgent cases – for 15 minutes between 9:00 – 9:15 a.m. on June 1, holding a vigil and wearing T-shirts bearing his photo.
Samsun Governor İbrahim Şahin said in a written statement on May 31 he condemned the attack, expressing his condolences to the family and friends of the fallen doctor. He also said the suspect in the murder, İsmail Koyun, 30, had been arrested shortly after the incident, adding the suspect had been sent to prison after the court hearing.
According to Şahin, the motive for the attack had less to do with any doctor-patient relationship and more with the fact the perpetrator may have been mentally ill, even a psychopath.
The suspect appeared in court late May 30. He said in his testimony he saw some “mystic and superstitious images” that made him think Furtun was conducting human and drug trafficking, Doğan News Agency reported on May 31. He did not say why he carried out the attack and appeared to be smiling in court. Koyun had been working in the canteen of the hospital where the attack happened before he was laid off after a change in the canteen’s management.
Protests were held in provinces around the country, with doctors and medics condemning the attack while striking and holding vigils.
Doctors working at the Bağcılar Education and Research Hospital did not work for a day in protest on June 1 and held a vigil after gathering outside the hospital in Istanbul’s Bağcılar district.
Medics working at the state hospital in the eastern province of Malatya gathered in protest by the hospital’s clinic and condemned the attack.
Doctors from the Kayseri Education and Research Hospital did not serve for 15 minutes to protest the killing of Furtun.
Several other protests were held in multiple provinces, including the southern provinces of Antalya, Isparta, Muğla and Burdur.