Military doctors to get education at civilian medical schools in Turkey
Deniz Zeyrek – ANKARAMilitary doctors will receive education at civilian medical schools as part of new regulations introduced after the July 15 failed coup attempt, believed to have been masterminded by the Gülenist movement.
The decision was taken by Defense Minister Fikri Işık, Health Minister Recep Akdağ, Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar and deputy chief of General Staff Gen. Ümit Dündar, in order to resolve the issues surrounding military doctors that emerged after the closure of the Gülhane Military Medical Academy (GATA).
In accordance with the new decision, 200 to 250 military soldiers and nurses will receive education in civilian medical faculties as military students. Military doctors and nurses will still be assigned to fronts, ships and army bases.
“We’ve taken decisions with regards to the need of the soldiers. There won’t be any gaps,” Işık told daily Hürriyet on Oct. 2, adding that a special quota would be opened at the Health Sciences University to educate military doctors.
“The head of the Health Sciences University is a retired military doctor, Cevdet Erdöl. He knows the issues. The university will give the training in the areas of military psychiatry, orthopedics and surgery. We, as the Defense Ministry, will sponsor military doctor candidates, but they will receive education in civilian universities. As we make military engineers receive education at ODTÜ [Middle East Technical University] and İTÜ [Istanbul Technical University] as part of the faculty college, there will be military doctors at the Hacettepe Medical Faculty in line with the quota to be determined,” he said.
Noting that military dormitories would be opened in provinces like Istanbul and Ankara for faculty college students, Işık said students would receive civil education in the morning, but would adhere to the conditions of military students after leaving school for the day.
“The old mechanisms regarding military doctors and nurses will continue. There are different views on ranks and uniforms. Ranks will continue as they were in the old system. However, there are some who want to wear a uniform while some say uniforms are not necessary in the medical system,” he added.
Several issues have emerged after military hospitals were brought under the control of the Health Ministry and GATA was closed in state of emergency decrees enacted after the coup bid.