Lives were saved at Istanbul mosque that opened doors for first aid to protesters, say doctors
ISTANBUL – Radikal
Doctors offered an immediate medical response in the Dolmabahçe Mosque in Istanbul’s Beşiktaş neighborhood on June 1 and 2. DHA photoPeople could have died if no medical attention had been given to them, doctors who provided first aid during the Gezi Park protests at Istanbul's Dolmabahçe Mosque have said.
Three doctors, who were among those offering an immediate medical response in the Dolmabahçe Mosque in the Beşiktaş district on June 1 and 2, said it was wrong to emphasize a debate as to whether or not alcohol had been consumed within the mosque.
“What is more important is that … is that deaths could have occurred if no medical care was provided,” the three doctors told daily Radikal. They did not want to give their names due to claimsthat an investigation into doctors who gave first aid during the protests had been opened by the Health Ministry.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been asserting in speeches since almost the first week of the protests that the demonstrators drank alcoholic beverages in the mosque, also adding that they entered the mosque with their shoes, two acts considered to be disrespectful in Islam.
However, Fuat Yıldırım, the muezzin of the Dolmabahçe Mosque, denied seeing any alcoholic beverages being consumed in the mosque, while also claiming to have seen a bottle outside of the mosque that resembled a beer bottle.
The three doctors said they went to the mosque to offer first aid because of the Hippocratic Oath they had taken.
Mehmet Görmez, the head of the Religious Affairs Directorate, told a Turkish private TV channel on July 6 that if an injured man desperately enters a sanctuary, he is considered to be a belonging of God, no matter what his fault, religion or color.
However, Görmez also said that apart from this, using the mosque as a "base camp" was questionable. “There is a very important issue here that we cannot accept. Can we or can we not use a mosque as a base or headquarters for an attempted movement that harbors all kinds of violence?” he said.