Some 40 medical chambers affiliated with the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) have stood by the organization, following harsh criticism from far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli, who called for the TTB's closure.Erdoğan ally calls for closure of top medial association for protesting increasing COVID-19 infections
Bahçeli is a staunch ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, while the MHP is a coalition partner of Erdoğan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
The chambers released a joint statement on Sept. 17, in which they recited part of the Hippocratic oath and reiterated their support for the TTB.
“We are honored to be a part of andstand beside the TTB, which has always taken care of physicians,healthcare professionals, and the public, using its knowledge andexpertise since its establishment in 1953 to make our country and itspeople healthier,” the chambers said in their statement.
“We are fortunate to have ourprofessional organization that prioritizes and defends the right ofpublic health, and does not compromise when it comes to scientificand free thinking. We say that it will always exist.”
Bahçeli, known for his bellicose rhetoric, lashed out at the TTB in a stream of tweets on Sept. 16, calling for its closure, accusing it of betrayal, and claiming it was as dangerous as the coronavirus itself.
Bahçeli's comments followed statements from the TTB indicating that the organization was planning to hold demonstration in opposition to the government's normalization policies, and that the country's doctors and healthcare professionals were exhausted from fighting the coronavirus epidemic.Top medial association to hold week-long protest to draw attention to 'exhausted' healthcare staff