Eight arrested Turkish Medical Association members released
The eight arrested doctors who are members of the Turkish Medical Association Central Council have been released. Turkish Medical Association chair Raşit Tükel said, “We will continue to side with peace under all circumstances.”
Eight doctors, including Raşit Tükel, Chair of the Turkish Medical Association Central Council which issued a declaration titled “War is a popular health issue” in opposition to the Afrin operation, were sent to the judicial complex following six days under arrest. The court released the eight doctors subject to release conditions. Eleven members of the Turkish Medical Association’s Central Council were arrested last Tuesday at the behest of Ankara Chief Prosecution charged with “making a terrorist organisation’s propaganda” and “inciting the people to hatred and enmity” on account of the peace declaration they issued in opposition to the Olive Branch operation. Four of the doctors, who had declined to make a statement at Ankara Police Counterterrorism Branch Directorate, were released subject to release conditions on Friday after having been examined by the prosecutor at the judicial complex.
Turkish Medical Association chair Raşit Tükel along with central council members Selma Güngör, Hande Arpat, Taner Gören, Funda Obuz, Yaşar Ulutaş, Bülent Nazım Yılmaz and Sezai Berber were taken this afternoon following completion of their procedures to Ankara Judicial Complex. The Turkish Medical Association administrators were asked if they had ties to the PKK/PYD, what they thought about the Afrin operation and why they had not displayed similar reactions to the PKK’s actions. The doctors for their part rejected all the accusations.
Greeted by a large crowd at the judicial complex: “We will continue to side with peace under all circumstances.”
A large number of civil society organisation administrators and members of parliament came to the judicial complex in support of the arrestees. Notable figures were Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions Chair Kani Beko, Human Rights Association Chair Öztürk Türkdağan, Confederation of Public Employees' Trade Unions General Secretary Ramazan Gürbüz, Health and Social Services Workers Union Chair İbrahim Kara, CHP MP Sezgin Tanrıkulu and HDP MP Sırrı Süreyya Önder. The release order subject to release conditions was the cause of great joy at the judicial complex. Turkish Medical Association chair Raşit Tükel said in the comment he made in front of the judicial complex, “We will continue to side with peace under all circumstances.”
Chomsky: I am distressed
US linguist Noam Chomsky reacted to the arrest of the Turkish Medical Association Central Council members. The Turkish Medical Association posted Chomsky’s message on its Twitter account prior to the court’s release order subject to release conditions. Chomsky said, “I’ve been following these shocking developments with much distress. Every effort should be undertaken to protect the TMA and others who are protesting Turkey’s military actions and their bitter consequences and to support their efforts to bring these actions to an end!”
Yarkadaş: The doctors underwent seven days of torment
CHP Istanbul MP Barış Yarkadaş said that the Turkish Medical Association administrators had undergone a full seven days of torment and a move back had been made from error.
The eight doctors who had been released from Ankara Judicial Complex were met by their colleagues and MPs. CHP MPs Barış Yarkadaş, Ali Şeker, Mehmet Göker and Orhan Sarıbal along with HDP MPs Sibel Yiğitalp, Sırrı Süreyya Önder and Mithat Sancar were among those sharing the joy at the doctors’ release.
CHP Istanbul MP Barış Yarkadaş said, “Both those in power and the judiciary realised that those doctors who had been arrested for remaining true to their professional principles and the Hippocratic oath had committed no crime, and a move back has been made from the error. Doctors are subjected to a full seven days of torment on a nonsensical charge. I hope that nobody at all will be subjected to such treatment again on account of such a nonsensical investigation.”
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