Central committee of Turkish Medical Association detained

The president and 10 other members of the Turkish Medical Association central committee were detained in dawn raids this morning following their opposition to Turkey’s military operation in Syria, independent news site T24 reported.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had called the group, which represents 80 percent of Turkey’s doctors, “terrorist-lovers” after they issued a statement opposing the incursion into the Afrin district of northern Syria on Jan. 24.

On Friday, the central committee issued said it stood by its original statement, and on Monday an official investigation began into its members at the request of the Interior Ministry.

“Each armed conflict, each war brings along human tragedy by causing irremediable problems in terms of physical, mental, social and environmental health,” the association’s statement read.

“As members of a profession who have taken an oath to save lives we constantly keep in mind our first and foremost duty to defend life and commit to maintain the environment of peace.”

Erdoğan responded by criticising the group in a speech.

“There are some who are uncomfortable like the so-called Turkish Medical Association, and they want to carry out a campaign saying no to war,” Erdoğan said. “We have never heard these terrorist-lovers ever say yes to peace up to the present day.”