Hospital assailant on trial for attempted murder in Turkey’s southeast
İdris Emen - ISTANBUL
This file photo shows the entrance of an emergency unit at the hospital in Şanlıurfa's Siverek district.
A prosecutor is seeking up to 15 years in jail on charges of attempted voluntary murder for a man who earlier this year attacked and severely injured a doctor in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa.
The incident that prompted a huge public outcry took place on July 17 at the Harran University Medical School’s pediatric emergency service.
Following a quarrel at the emergency service, Abdulkadir Keskinli, the assailant, hit Dr. Bahaüddin Ahmet Yalçın in the head with a large block of cobblestone.
After the attack, the doctor had to undergo surgery and the assailant was arrested.
In the wake of the investigation into the case, the prosecutor prepared an indictment arguing that Keskinli hit Yalçın in the head twice and attempted at least three more times to attack the doctor, but people around stopped him.
The indictment thus concluded that this amounted to voluntary attempted murder. The prosecutor demanded a jail sentence between nine to 15 years.
A total of 60,000 incidents of violence against health care workers were reported in Turkey in the last five years, Metin Memiş, the president of the Trade Union of Health and Social Workers (Sağlık-Sen), had said.
Of this number, 48,000 consisted of incidents of “verbal assault,” whereas 12,000 consisted of “physical violence,” according to Memiş.
Violence against health care personnel is a pressing issue in Turkey, with one study finding that 78 percent of emergency doctors were subjected to violence last year.