The 32nd High Criminal Court in Ankara delivered a shameful decision today in the case where the Central Council Members of the Turkish Medical Association (TMA) for the term 2016-2018 were tried for their declaration titled “War is a Public Health Problem.” The court also referred in its decision to the declaration made on 1 September 2016 titled “It is Quite Possible to Live in Peace and Equality on this Land” and sentenced 11 central council members to 10 months of imprisonment for each of the declarations mentioned above on the ground of “provoking the public to hatred and hostility”. The court sentenced Dr Hande Arpat additionally to imprisonment for 1 year, 6 months and 22 days for “spreading propaganda of the terror organization” in her social media sharing. Dr Şeyhmus Gökalp got acquittal for the same charge.
After the announcement of court decision, TMA Central Council Chair Prof Dr Sinan Adıyaman made a brief comment saying “We acted in line with universal ethical principles of the profession of medicine and qualified war as a public health problem; we told to the court in earlier sessions as well that this declaration is no violation of any law and we are going to make our plead against the decision. The court gave its decision and we don’t accept it. We are going to try all legal channels to have this decision repealed. The TMA will never give up saying war is a public health problem.”