Former CHP head Baykal undergoes third surgery, put in medically induced coma
Deniz Baykal, the former leader of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP), underwent two more operations at Ankara University’s İbn-i Sina Hospital yesterday after being hospitalized a day earlier due to a blood clot in a major artery to his brain.
After the second operation, doctors put Baykal in a medically induced coma “in order for his brain to rest, as a precautionary measure against brain damage, and for lung functions to be supported,” Ankara University Rector Ercan İbiş said at a press conference on Oct. 17.
“There is no bleeding [in the brain] right now. We are at ease in that regard,” İbiş added.
“The brain is a very sensitive organ, full of risks and surprises. But right now everything is under the control of the doctors. The treatment is being applied with success. In the upcoming process we do not know if we will come across surprises, which is why frequent follow-ups and examinations are being undertaken,” he said.
“We banned visits to [Baykal] and visits are forbidden today as well, because we do not want him to be at risk of infection,” İbiş added.
Before the ban was put in place, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reportedly visited the hospital on Oct. 16, meeting Baykal’s son Ataç Baykal and his daughter Aslı Baykal Ataman.
Erdoğan was accompanied by Foreign Minsiter Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın during the 20-minute visit, during which they wished Baykal a speedy recovery.
“The meeting was short. We of course try to limit such contacts, but Baykal was calm. He answered all the questions asked,” İbiş said.
A fixture in the Turkish political scene for over 40 years, Baykal has served cabinets as deputy prime minister and minister in numerous cabinets. He also served as a leader of the CHP for 17 years in total.