Turkey requests medical chiefs' removal for hate crime

The Turkish Interior Ministry has filed for the prosecution of the Turkish Medical Association and removal of its central committee members after they called for peace in response to Turkey’s military offensive against a Kurdish enclave in northern Syria, state news agency Anadolu said.

The Interior Ministry said a statement by the medical association, which called for Turkey to halt its ongoing operation in Afrin, would only find acceptance among “the (Kurdistan Workers Party) terror organisation and its internal and external supporters”.

"The aim of Operation Olive Branch is to prevent the territorial disintegration of our country and our neighbours, to protect the environment of peace and calm that is the target of the terror organisation and its supporters, to put back together the places that have been destroyed, and to present a determined stance to defend all humanitarian rights, peace, calm, and security,” the ministry said, adding that the president himself had been the best exemplar of this position.

“Operation Olive Branch has been carried out in front of the world’s eyes in line with this aim.”

The peace statement by the Turkish Medical Association represented abuse of office by its central committee, who had committed the crimes of hate speech and making the activities of a terrorist organisation appear legitimate, the ministry said.