Prof. Mehmet Haberal to become head of Transplantation Society

Prof. Mehmet Haberal to become head of Transplantation Society

Prof. Mehmet Haberal to become head of Transplantation Society

DHA photo

World-renowned Turkish academic Prof. Mehmet Haberal has been elected as the head of the Transplantation Society after receiving a majority of the votes of some 6,700 experts from 105 different countries. 

Haberal, who garnered fame in the medical arena with his pioneering kidney and liver transplants, will become the president of the society between 2018 and 2020, after serving it as the president elect between 2016 and 2018. 

“I owe my election as the president elect to the Transplantation Society, which is the biggest and most reputable institution in its area, to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who is the founder of my country and who provided the nation to develop with contemporary knowledge,” Haberal said upon accepting the award. 

“I also thank my colleagues all over the world for providing me with an opportunity to send good news to my country from this far place of the earth,” he added, referring to Hong Kong, where the congress that he was elected in was held between Aug. 18 and 23.

Haberal became the first doctor to perform a kidney transplant from a living donor in 1975 and again became the first to carry out a kidney transplant from a cadaver in 1978. He received the Millennium Medal from the Transplantation Society in 2000 for his contributions to the development of organ transplantation. He became the first Turkish surgeon to become an Honorary Fellow of the American College of Surgeons in 2010. 

Haberal previously exerted big efforts for the congress to be held in Istanbul rather than Hong Kong, but the Transplantation Society chose the latter after Haberal was arrested in the Ergenekon case, widely believed to be a bogus conspiracy concocted by followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.

Ergenekon was the name of a massive probe into hundreds of senior military personnel, journalists and politicians on charges of plotting a coup against the Turkish government.

Haberal was arrested in April 13, 2009 and was initially given 12.5 years in jail, but was later released by the court in consideration of time already served.