A doctor in the Aegean city of Izmir has issued an apology to the public and to the government after a statement in which he said the number of cases of coronavirus and deaths caused by the virus in Turkey was worse than Italy’s. The rector of the Dokuz Eylül University, former ruling Justice and Development Party deputy Nükhet Hotar, released a statement saying that Savran’s statement had been misunderstood.
“Turkey is not aware of the seriousness of this matter, please stay at home,” said Dr. Yusuf Savran of Izmir’s Dokuz Eylül University in a video that he posted to his Youtube account, adding that it wasn’t too late and that the virus could be stopped.
The university’s rector, former ruling Justice and Development Party deputy Nükhet Hotar, released a statement saying that Savran’s statement had been misunderstood, that it wasn’t correct to compare Turkey’s situation with Italy or other countries, and that Savran and his coworkers were under great stress and were committing a great sacrifice with their work.
In a subsequent video released on his Youtube account, Savran apologized for his statement:
“Our Ministry of Health and their affiliated units are carrying out their work with meticulousness. The statements I made and the Italy comparison were misunderstood. As responsible doctors, we are continuing our work. If my statements resulted in panic I apologize to my elders in the state and to the public,” Savran said.
It was the second time that a doctor had to rescind a statement they had made relating to the coronavirus. A doctor at Ankara University apologized after saying “the Umrah wrecked everything, there are thousands of cases,” referring to the religious pilgrimage that Muslims make to Mecca. Thousands of Turkish citizens returning Umrah were quarantined after arriving in Turkey on March 15.