TTB re-elects leftist leadership, Fincancı leaves office

The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) elected the leftist “Active Democratic TTB-Physicians' Chambers Initiative Alliance” for its central council. The Association has been a strong advocate for physician and patient rights under Dr. Şebnem Korur Fincancı, who handed over her seat after two terms in office. 

Fincancı makes a statement ahead of the elections of June 30.

Duvar English

The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) on June 30 elected the leftist “Active Democratic TTB-Physicians' Chambers Initiative Alliance” in its 76th Electoral General Assembly.

The three-day assembly under the slogan "For Violence-Free, Safe, Secure Medical Practice, TTB is Ours,” concluded with the Central Council, High Honor Committee, and Audit Committee elections.

Two groups were in the running, the leftist Active Democratic TTB-Physicians' Chambers Initiative Alliance and the pro-government Contemporary Turkish Physicians Association. 

The current Council President Şebnem Korur Fincancı did not run due to a two-term limit.

The Active Democratic TTB, which has included the democratic left and led the TTB for over 30 years, split into two ahead of the election, raising the chances for a Contemporary Turkish Physicians Association victory, which would dramatically change the TTB’s standing. 

The two left-leaning groups decided to run under the same ticket, and emerged victorious.

On June 29, the current TTB Central Council held a press conference according to ANKA. TTB Central Council President Fincancı stated, "For 71 years, TTB has been the organized voice of physicians in these lands. It is an organization with public institution status that fights in the healthcare field with a collective will under constitutional protection. As a professional organization, TTB has been fighting for many years to protect all the rights, especially economic and professional, of all physicians in our country, whether they are members or not."

Fincancı emphasized that TTB is the main assurance of the functionality of universal values in the field of medical practice in Turkey, adding, "TTB has viewed physicians, the health profession groups they work with, and the members of the society in which they live as a whole for most of its 71-year history. It has advocated the scientific and historical truth that its health, well-being, and happiness can only be achieved together with the health, well-being, and happiness of all."

Fincancı noted that the "struggle line," initiated by TTB in 2021 with the "Labor is Ours, Words are Ours" actions, must be re-established. She stated, "We must push the Health Ministry to provide us with safe, secure, and violence-free working conditions.” The government has failed in its attempts to attack, threaten, close, dismiss, or appoint trustees to TTB, which has always expressed the truth. It will continue to fail in the future. Our struggle for violence-free, safe, and secure medical practice will continue."

Previous chair Fincancı has been the target of pro-government voices and received a prison sentence for pointing out the potential chemical gas usage of the Turkish military against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) during operations in northern Iraq.