'Gezi doctors' win case against Health Ministry
An Ankara court has rejected a lawsuit filed by the Health Ministry against the Turkish Medical Association’s (TTB) Ankara Chamber of Doctors (ATO) for assisting injured protesters during the Gezi Park protests in 2013.
In 2014, the ministry filed a civil lawsuit and demanded the dismissal of the ATO members who were “engaged in activities beyond the scope of their mission,” according to Law No. 6023 of the Turkish Medical Association.
The ministry’s lawyer demanded that the lawsuit be accepted at a hearing on Feb. 20, while the ATO’s lawyer asked the court to reject it, saying the doctors served voluntarily during the protests because the ministry did not do its duty.
The Ankara 23rd Court of First Instance rejected the file after hearing the statements of the lawyers on both sides.
Union of Turkish Bar Associations (TBB) head Metin Feyzioğlu testified to the court in favor of the ATO member defendants.
“There were a few ambulances belonging to the ministry at the protests, but they did not help injured people on side streets where the incidents were intense,” Feyzioğlu said.
“If there were no voluntary doctors, the number of deaths or permanent disabilities would have been higher. I don’t have any information that those voluntary doctors were assigned by the ATO. Not just one or two ambulances, but many paramedics must be dispatched and medical tents should be erected during such incidents, according to the regulations. The ministry did not serve in line with the scale of the incidents,” he added.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Ankara deputy Levent Gök, who observed the hearing, claimed that there were witnesses who saw tear gas canisters fired from ministry ambulances.