Over 1,200 hospitalized during Gezi protests, Turkish health ministry says
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
The Health Ministry has announced that 535 people in Istanbul and 1,223 people throughout Turkey were transferred to hospitals during the protests. DHA photoIn a bid to show that it was well focused on developments throughout the Gezi Park protests, the Health Ministry has announced that 535 people in Istanbul and 1,223 people throughout Turkey were transferred to the hospitals during the first month of the unrest.
The ministry cited these numbers to highlight that it had closely followed these events from the beginning and deployed the ambulances at certain points.
The information was provided in a brochure prepared and released by the Directorate General of Emergency Health Services of the Health Ministry, Anadolu Agency reported July 11. The brochure covered the incidents that took place over a one-month period from May 28.
From the very beginning, the events were followed by the Health Ministry Health Disaster Coordination Center, the ambulances were placed at critical points and study about bed capacities in hospitals and emergency services was conducted, with 434 ambulances and 4,732 emergency and National Medical Rescue Teams taking charge during the protests.
Noting that the protests that had begun on May 28 in Istanbul later spread to Ankara, İzmir, Eskişehir, Adana, Muğla, Kütahya, Antalya, Mersin, Bursa, Hatay, Balıkesir, Kocaeli and Erzincan, the ministry stressed that the protesters clashed with police, destroyed public and private properties, burned cars, closed roads and bank branches, ATMs, ambulances, public transportation vehicles and also damaged police cars. The ambulances in charge of taking the injured to the hospital were attacked; six of them were damaged; and throughout the country, 4,152 people, including 252 police officers and 13 foreign nationals, were “influenced” by the events, the ministry said.
The Gezi Park unrest flared when police cracked down on a peaceful sit-in against plans to redevelop the central Istanbul park on May 31, which then snowballed into nationwide protests that saw some 2.5 million take to the streets.
Thousands of people were injured in the heavy-handed police crackdown on the protests across Turkey which posed the biggest challenge yet to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s rule, lasting for over a decade.
On July 10, the death toll from the protests against the government rose to five after a 19-year-old protester injured in a demonstration in the western city of Eskişehir on June 2 died in hospital.