Ferhat Yaşar / DUVAR
Turkish doctors marked Medicine Day in Istanbul’s central Taksim Square on March 14.
Qualified physicians observed a moment of silence for 505 health workers who died because of the Feb. 6 earthquakes that hit southeastern Turkey.
Istanbul Medical Chamber (İTO) head Dr. Nergis Erdoğan said “We are celebrating the 14th of March with a bit of sadness. We lost many of our colleagues. That's why we're in mourning.”
“Together we need to work for the (expected) Istanbul earthquake,” Erdoğan added.
In the event, the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) reminded that some 2,685 doctors applied to move abroad in 2022.
Overtime, long shift hours, low wages, lack of merit, cases of violence in healthcare, mobbing and harsh working conditions have led to the departure of many physicians in recent years.
The 89-year-old Prof. Erdinç Köksal, who was knocked down when police officers tried to stop doctors trying to lay a wreath at Taksim Square previous year, also attended the event.
Köksal said “Last year, when we came to Taksim, we were blocked by (the police). There were cops around every barrier and they prevented us from laying wreaths. It was a very sad thing indeed. We were blocked by people whom we provided health care, by police officers who were the age of our children and even our grandchildren.”
“This year we were worried. There are no barriers or blockades on a sunny day. That's why I'm so happy this year,” he added.
According to the opposition's statistics, the number of doctors leaving the country has increased 24 times in the last decade.
(English version by Alperen Şen)