The Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME) calls on the Turkish authorities to immediately drop all charges against Turkish doctors and academics accused of ‘propaganda for a terrorist organisation’.

On 19th of December 2018, the Istanbul’s 37th High Criminal Court sentenced Dr Sebnem Korur Fincanci, the Chair of Human Rights Foundation of Turkey and former member of Istanbul Chamber of Medicine Honorary Committee, to two years and six months in prison for signing a peace petition in 2016 organised by a group of Turkish academics.

Last week Dr Ozdemir Aktan, a former president of the Turkish Medical Association (TMA), was sentenced to one year and three months imprisonment. And the prison sentence of two years three months handed down to Dr Gençay Gürsoy, a former Chair of the TMA and one of the founders of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, was upheld by a court in Istanbul.

Former members of the TMA Board are facing trials or sentences on the same charges, i.e. supporting terrorism. Many of them have lost their jobs, had their passports cancelled and will never be able to work again in public institutions.

‘We cannot remain silent on what is happening in Turkey. Doctors, healthcare workers and academics have been sentenced for having signed a petition prepared by the Academics for Peace in 2016, calling on the Turkish government to stop the violence against civilians. Appealing for peace and drawing attention on the tremendous suffering caused by any war, is completely in line with the ethics of the medical profession. We join the World Medical Association (WMA) and call on the Turkish Government to end this state campaign against doctors and academics.’ said the CPME President, Dr Jacques de Haller.