Jan 26 2018

Turkish doctors who criticised Turkish military campaign under severe threat

The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) has been subjected to a large number of violent threats after calling for an end to Turkey’s military campaign in northwest Syria, a report by the human rights organisation Amnesty International has revealed.

Turkey launched its campaign, called “Operation Olive Branch”, against the mainly-Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) on Jan. 20. Turkey considers the YPG an extension fo the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, a terrorist-designated group that has a decades-long history of clashes with the Turkish armed forces.

Milena Buyum, a campaigner for Turkey's Amnesty International, tweeted on Friday calling for urgent action to protect the union from the "threats of violence" it had received as a result of its opposition to the military operation.

 

 

The TTB released its statement calling for an end to the operation on Jan. 24, leading to a high number of threats against the organisation’s head office in Ankara via telephone, email, and social media. These included anonymous threats that the office would be invaded.

The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, also targeted the TTB during a speech of Jan. 26, and two pro-government trade unions called for protests outside its Istanbul branch, scheduled for Monday Jan. 29.

The TTB was forced to evacuate its Ankara offices, and requested protection from the Ankara Governorate, but has not received a response.