Ferhat Yaşar / DUVAR
An Istanbul court on Jan. 11 sentenced The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) and The Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV) chairs Şebnem Korur Fincancı to two years, eight months and 15 days in prison over the charge of “making propaganda for a terrorist organization.” The court also ordered the release of Fincancı after being in detention since October.
In the final hearing, Fincancı said “What is our crime? We wanted equal health services in everyone’s mother tongue. We wanted an effective health system during the pandemic. We oppose the commercialization of health services.”
“We are on target because we protect the personal rights of physicians, because we say that there should be no violence in health,” she added.
The Istanbul 24th Heavy Penal Court sentenced Fincancı to two years, eight months and 15 days in prison over the charge of “making propaganda for a terrorist organization,” and ordered the release of her.
Fincancı was accused of “making propaganda for a terrorist organization” because of her remarks questioning the claims that the Turkish army used chemical weapons against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
Media close to the PKK published videos which reportedly showed chemical weapons being used by the army against the PKK in northern Iraq. Several Turkish officials have denied the allegations in question, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
After the allegations, Fincancı said she examined the footage of the alleged use of chemical weapons and said, "Obviously, one of the toxic chemical gases that directly affects the nervous system was used. Although its use is prohibited, we see it used in conflicts.” Fincancı said independent delegations must carry out investigations in the region regarding the allegations.
Fincancı later said “As if I said that chemicals were used. I didn't say anything like that. I mean, (the footage shows) there might be a chemical effect. I say, 'This should be investigated.’ In other words, it is not possible to say this in the footage.”
An Ankara court on Oct. 27 arrested Fincancı over the alleged charge of “making propaganda for a terrorist organization.”