As health professionals across Turkey went on strike on Monday in protest against ever increasing workloads aggravated by the pandemic, against the diminishing of salaries due to high inflation, and against violence in the workplace, a group of doctors were harrassed by police in Istanbul as they tried to lay a wreath on the occasion of Turkish Medicine Day, celebrated on 14 March.
Some members of the Istanbul Chamber of Physicians tried to make a statement and place a wreath on the Republic Monument in Istanbul’s Taksim square, but were prevented by the police.
They were told by the police that they could place the wreath, but would not be allowed to make a public statement.
One senior doctor was pushed to the ground by the officers. He was heard saying before he fell:
“We treated your mothers and fathers. Don’t behave like this, for God’s sake”
Another doctor was stopped in his tracks by an officer as he made a move to lay a wreath on the monument.
He protested, shouting at the officer: “Go on then, take me into custody. It’s a disgrace, a disgrace!”
A doctor from the group finally managed to make a very hasty address, saying:
“We know that these days will pass. We’ll meet again in the future when justice is better served, and we’ll celebrate 14 March over and again with larger crowds, more cheerfully. I thank you all. See you at many more 14 March celebrations.”