The World Medical Association (WMA) and Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME) have written an open letter to President and Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Minister of Justice Abdulhamit Gül and Minister of Health Fahrettin Koca.
The letter of the organizations has requested that the charges against Dr. Şeyhmus Gökalp, a member of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) High Honorary Board and a former TTB Central Council member (2014-2018 term), be dropped, underlining that there is an "absence of substantiated and lawfully obtained evidence in support of the indictments."
Dr. Şeyhmus Gökalp will appear before the judge at the Diyarbakır 10th High Criminal Court on November 19, 2021. Standing trial due to his activities as a physician, Dr. Gökalp was arrested pending trial for 2.5 months. He was released from prison on February 10, 2021.
'Recognised for commitment to public health'
The letter signed by WMA President Dr. Heidi Stensmyren and CPME President Prof. Dr Frank Ulrich Montgomery has expressed "great concern" over the ongoing trial of Gökalp on behalf of the WMA and CPME:
"It is with great concern that the World Medical Association (WMA) and the Standing Committee of
European Doctors (CPME) are following the judicial case against Dr Şeyhmus Gökalp at the Diyarbakır
2nd Criminal Court of Peace.
Ahead of the final hearing on 19 November 2021, we reaffirm our appeal to the Turkish judicial
authorities to ensure that the proceedings are conducted in full respect of the right to a fair trial the
Republic of Turkey has committed to under international law.
It is our understanding that Dr Şeyhmus Gökalp is a well-respected physician exercising his
profession in line with the core ethical values of the profession and recognised for his commitment
to serve public health interests and to protect patients and physicians.
In absence of substantiated and lawfully obtained evidence in support of the indictments against Dr
Gökalp, the charges against him must be dropped immediately.
We will monitor the outcome of the hearing and continue to liaise with the Turkish Medical
Association as well as our international partners on further actions if deemed necessary. We trust in
a lawful resolution."