Translated by Translators for Justice
LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT OF TURKISH MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
Prof. Dr. Özdemir Aktan, President of the Turkish Medical Association sent a letter addressed to doctors in Turkey.
In his letter, Dr. Aktan called on doctors to be in the squares on Monday, June 17th, 2013, and only to give emergency medical service on the streets and in the hospitals; this call is a response to the many obstacles preventing doctors from conducting their profession properly, such as the police attacks that took place yesterday in Taksim and especially today in Kızılay, the attacks with tear gas on infirmaries where the injured were being treated, doctors being taken into custody while on duty, and investigations being opened against volunteers providing.
The text of the letter from the President of the Turkish Medical Association is given below:
We are going through a time when we are meeting with each other, understanding the value of those around us, increasing our levels of solidarity. We are learning to hold the hands of those who stumble, to help up those who fall, and to resist for our most basic rights. Our children have taught us how to stand up, and, despite the violence and oppression, to not give in, to care and to love.
We, as doctors, swore on our lives to devote our lives to serving humanity.
With our own free will we swore upon our honour to prioritise the health of our patients and to keep their secrets even after their death;
We swore to regard our colleagues as our own brothers and sisters, and not to let any considerations of religion, nation, race, party politics or social status to come between our duty and our patients.
However, today, we are expected to sit back and watch the violence that has been inflicted on the protesters who are asking for their most basic rights; we are expected not to run to their aid, not to treat them.
Infirmaries providing voluntary medical services are being raided and blockaded.
We are being taken into custody for practicing medicine…
We believe that today’s most pressing democratic duty is to stop this aggression with the help of the labour and trade organisations that support the struggle of the people of Turkey for rights, justice, freedom and democracy.
Under such circumstances, in order to be able to freely practise our profession and to come to the aid of our patients, we have decided that on 17 June 2013 we will provide only emergency services in the squares and healthcare organisations throughout the country.
I ask you all to listen to this call in the name of conducting our profession freely as free doctors.
Prof. Dr. Özdemir Aktan
Turkish Medical Association, President of the Central Council