TTB warns against an increase in attacks against health workers

The chairman of the Turkish Medical Association in Van warns against attacks on health workers after inflammatory statements by the government.

The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) is attacked ever more sharply by the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the boss of the AKP coalition partner MHP, Devlet Bahçeli. There have been repeated attempts to silence the TTB because of its protests against bad states of health service. Some from the government circles demand the closure of the TTB and the organization is branded as "traitors". The nationalist leader Bahçeli even described the TTB as "more dangerous than the Coronavirus”.

In an interview with ANF, Hüseyin Yaviç, chairman of the medical association in Van, evaluates the current debate on closure. He points out that organization in medical chambers is a constitutionally guaranteed right and says: "It is the responsibility of the TTB to raise the conditions of the workers in the health service and their problems. We have made clear our protest against these statements targeting such a mass organization. If we look at it on a long-term basis, then the debate holds the potential of an increase in violence against workers in the health service. The approach of the TTB is to work together and be part of the solution".

Bans silence civil society

Yaviç also talks about the special situation in Van province where a permanent ban on assembly has been in force for 1500 days. The physician emphasizes that concerts, events, festivals as well as political and social activities are very important for the spiritual well-being of the people. "The ban on assembly is renewed every 15 days. We don't think it is right in the 21st century to restrict people's fundamental right to freedom of assembly in this way. Civil society and its organizations are thus de facto silenced. Civil society organizations are prevented from meeting and informing the population. We as TTB are victims of this practice. We want to meet with the governor. We want to be able to exercise our rights in Van, just like NGOs in other cities can do. If these talks do not lead to results, we plan to make this known in the social media and discuss with the institutions in this regard.”