Turkey: doctors on strike over murder of cardiologist

In Konya, Turkey, a cardiologist was shot dead by a relative of a deceased patient in a state hospital on Wednesday. Doctors across the country went on strike on Thursday and Friday in protest. They complain that violence against health workers in Turkey has increased massively in recent years. To what extent does the government bear the responsibility?

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Habertürk (TR) /

Ankara does not protect its health workers

Politics is partly to blame for this murder, Habertürk says:

“Individual acts of violence are not the issue; the problem is a climate that fuels violence and then justifies and excuses it. ... During the last decade, 110,000 acts of violence have been committed against health workers. Yet not a single measure to counter this has been taken to this day. Quite the contrary: the government, which has been boasting about its health system for years, is now declaring doctors as targets instead of taking the blame for the collapse of the health system.”

Sabah (TR) /

Just another murder like many others

This case is being misused by the medical association for political purposes, the pro-government Sabah complains:

“Campaigns are being launched in social media, there are strikes. The public is incensed. It's normal for people to condemn a murder 'no matter why it was carried out', to express their grief and react sensitively to this. But since the debate over this case is accompanied by empty slogans like 'systematic hostility towards doctors', 'educated people being targeted' and 'doctor killings are political' it can hardly be described as well-intentioned. We are simply dealing with a murder here. ... But they [the medical association] are trying to polarise society with this case.”