Turkish Medical Association calls for the immediate release of Fincancı

The Turkish Medical Association condemned the detention of their chairperson, Dr. Şebnem Korur Fincancı.

The Turkish Medical Association (TTB)  released a written statement about the detention on Wednesday of the association's head, Şebnem Korur Fincancı, over her remarks on the use of chemical weapons by the Turkish army.

“Fincancı has been detained today as a result of a smear campaign,” the TTB said.

“Neither Fincancı’s detention nor the investigation against her has a legal basis, because nothing that our chairperson said constitutes a crime. The TTB carefully listens and evaluates the criticism concerning the debate in question within the scope of freedom of thought and expression. However, the TTB will not accept the unlawful maltreatment of Fincancı nor the political lynching she has been subject to. We demand that Fincancı be released immediately after having her statement taken. We will continue the struggle for democracy, peace, the independence of science, the freedom of expression of scientists and public health from the autocratic government by embracing Dr. Şebnem Korur Fincancı and the TTB. Dr. Şebnem Fincancı is not alone, she is our honour!” the statement concluded.


The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office on October 20 opened an investigation against Fincancı because of her comments on a video published by ANF on October 18, showing two PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) members suffering from a chemical attack in Iraq's Kurdistan Region.

The substance of the investigation, accusing Fincancı of "propagandizing for a terrorist organization" and "publicly degrading the Turkish Nation, the state of the Republic of Turkey and its institutions", is constituted by Fincancı’s comments to Medya Haber. The head of TTB stated that the involuntary movements of the people seen in the video could occur with the effect of a chemical getting hold of the nervous system and that an effective investigation should be carried out in relation to this if there are allegations that a chemical was used.

Regarding the investigation, Korur Fincancı told Bianet, "If there are such allegations, they should have allowed an effective investigation into the incident. Opening an investigation against the one who is saying 'an investigation should be made' gives the impression of concealing a crime. We also know why such an investigation was opened. They want no doctor to talk about these issues again. This investigation is an attempt towards intimidating and silencing people.”

"However, I proved many times that I will not keep silent, therefore I do not think that this investigation is targeting me. This investigation is meant to be an intimidation for the whole society. Great misfortune for Turkey,” Fincancı noted.

The head of the Turkish Medical Association added, "In any case, what needs to be done in this kind of a situation is to request an effective investigation. They should have started an effective investigation and proven that they have not used any chemicals instead of opening an investigation against me.”