The Sick Man of Turkey

The Turkish Medical Association (TTB, or “Türk Tabipleri Birliği” in Turkish) released a statement Saturday passing considerable judgment on PM’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s controversial reactions over the past year. For those familiar with events since the start of the nationwide anti-government protests of 2013, the 60-year-old independent trade union — covering 80% of Turkey’s medical professionals, & recognized by the World Medical Assoc. — just questioned the mental health of the Turkish prime minister.

The full English translation of their 15 March press release reads as follows:

WE ARE WORRIED ABOUT PRIME MINISTER ERDOĞAN’S EMOTIONAL STATE!

“The interest lobby provoked the Gezi events.”

“They drunk alcohol in the Dolmabahçe Mosque.”

“They attacked my headscarved sisters.”

We, as doctors, have been watching with anxiety the polarisation, the marginalisation, and divisive rhetoric Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been using since the Gezi resistance.

We were terrified when we listened to what he said about Berkin Elvan at the Gaziantep election rally yesterday.

Normally, nobody would try to steer two families who lost their children against each other.

Normally, nobody would declare a child aged fifteen who was hit in the head [with a teargas canister] by the police on his way to buy bread and who died after fighting for his life for 269 days, a terrorist.

Normally, nobody would distort the truth about marbles put in a child’s grave and call them “steel balls.”

Normally, nobody would get a mother — who lost her child only two days ago — booed at an election rally.

We are doctors.

We know about thousands of different states of mind and the emotional states of a human being.

We are worried about Prime Minister Erdoğan’s emotional state.

We are extremely worried.

We are worried for him, for the people around him, and for our country.

We are sharing our concern with the public.

– The Central Committee of the Turkish Medical Association

In other words, (if the EU or U.S. are watching) the most authoritative medical body in the land just affirmed what at least 50% of Turkey already believes: that the emperor has no clothes.

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