Court dismisses Turkish Medical Association executives

A Turkish court has ordered the dismissal of the Turkish Medical Association’s (TTB) Central Council members, including prominent human rights activist and chair Şebnem Korur Fincancı. The executives were facing charges of "membership in a terrorist organization."

Duvar English

An Ankara court on Nov. 30 ruled for the dismissal of the Turkish Medical Association’s (TTB) entire Central Council.

The case initially was opened on the charge of "membership in a terrorist organization" against TTB chair and prominent human rights activist Şebnem Korur Fincancı and other Central Council members, who called for an investigation against the allegations that "chemical weapons were used" in Turkey's foreign military operations.

The court ruled to hold re-elections within one month for the executive positions and to appoint a committee of five members from the TTB’s grand congress. The court ordered the appointment of the heads of Konya, Malatya, Erzurum, Samsun, Denizli, and Samsun medical chambers to this temporary administration.

TTB released a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, after the hearing and stated, “The unlawful regime, the government intended to make dominant, has yielded another fruit: The series of unlawful acts that have been going on for a year have resulted in the dismissal of the members of the Central Council.”

TTB underscored that the dismissed members would remain in power until the court’s decision was finalized after the appeal.

Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office in 2022 initiated an investigation against Şebnem Korur Fincancı for "making propaganda for a terrorist organization" and "denigrating the Turkish nation, the State of the Republic of Turkey, the institutions and organs of the state" after she stated that the allegations of the use of chemical weapons in military operations against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) should be investigated by impartial delegations.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has previously targeted TTB through its chair Fincancı, "If necessary, we will ensure that TTB’s name is changed by regulations. I believe that the presence of such a person at the head of an organization whose name begins with Turkish disturbs all members of our nation."

Far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Devlet Bahçeli demanded the closure of the TTB, the severest punishment for the Central Council, and the removal of its members from Turkish citizenship.

Fincancı was arrested on Oct. 27, 2022, and released on Jan. 11, 2023.