Duvar EnglishTurkish court releases man detained over attacking doctor despite law to protect healthcare workers
A man identified only as Engin Barış K was released on bail after attacking three nurses and a patient with a knife at a community health center in western Turkey's vacation hub of Ayvalık on Sept. 11.
The assailant attacked the three nurses when they told him that his mother would have to be put on a waitlist for a pneumonia shot, battering the nurses in an examination room.
Patient Abdullah Sönmez, 66, heard the health workers' shouts and entered the room to separate the assailant, who proceeded to injure Sönmez with a knife in the leg.
"I was trying to capture him so we could turn him in to the gendarmerie," Sönmez said, although the attacker got away.
Engin Barış K turned himself into the gendarmerie in later hours, and Sönmez was treated at the community center where the attack happened.
Although the three nurses and Sönmez all made official complaints about the assailant, he was shortly released on bail by a local judgeship.
One of the doctors at the health center, Caner Çabuk said that they reported a "Code White" to the Health Ministry, which means that an attack on a health worker occurred, a critically often occurrence in Turkey.
The doctor said that Turkish media had too much unqualified commentators on health issues, which fueled emotional responses such as attacks on health workers.
"Our health workers, and especially first-step workers like those at community health centers, will continue to endure violence for as long as we have [unqualified] programming," Çabuk said.
"I hope there's legislation disincentivizing violence against health workers soon," the doctor added.
Turkey in fact passed a law in April that doubled penalties for attacks on health workers, which hasn't triggered a visible decline in the number of incidents.Parliament passes bill bringing harsher penalties for violence against healthcare workers