Thousands of physicians protest doctor’s murder

Thousands of physicians protest doctor’s murder

ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
Thousands of physicians protest doctor’s murder

Health workers stage rallies across Turkey to protest violence at the hospitals. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ

Thousands of health workers marched in cities across Turkey yesterday to protest the recent murder of a doctor by a patient’s relative as the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) demanded Health Minister Recep Akdağ provide safer working conditions.

Some 10,000 health workers gathered in the hospital yard at Istanbul University’s Medical Faculty and marched toward Beyazıt Square at 11:30 a.m. carrying placards and chanting slogans. Another 7,000 physicians also marched in the southeastern province of Gaziantep, where the murder occurred.

The event marks the largest act of protest by Turkey’s healthcare workers ever, according to reports.
Forty health workers initially gathered at Istanbul’s Haseki Training and Research Hospital in the morning hours yesterday.

The TTB met with Akdağ yesterday to present a six-article package that elaborated on their demands in relation to acts of violence committed against medical professionals.

TTB head Eriş Bilaloğlu said they requested the establishment of an investigation commission regarding such acts of violence, as well as the addition of an article to the Turkish Penal Code.

“We also want the future of our deceased colleagues’ [loved ones] to be ensured,” said Bilaloğlu. The association also requested a large-scale meeting on the matter with Akdağ.

Ersin Arslan, 26, was stabbed to death by a 17-year-old relative of a deceased patient on April 17. Arslan underwent eight hours of surgery before succumbing to his injuries. The attacker was reportedly related to an 80-year-old cancer patient Arslan had treated at Gaziantep’s Cengiz Gökçek Public Hospital.

Police later detained the young assailant, while the Health Ministry has launched an investigation into Arslan’s murder.