Turkish medical staff sacked after the country entered emergency rule following a failed coup say they should be reinstated as the virus spreads.
Statistics from John’s Hopkins University shows Turkey has close to 2,000 infections but the country only reported its 1st infection on 11th March, long after other countries in the region, and there are reports that the country is heading towards becoming a second Italy.
Emrah Altindis, who is a Turkish professor at the Harvard University Medical Faculty in the US said: “The recent data on cases and death tolls shows that the situation is out of control in Turkey. If the necessary measures are not taken, Turkey will be like Italy or Spain, where the daily death toll is in the hundreds.”
But Turkey is reportedly struggling to deal with the influx of patients made worse by the fact that many were sacked by statutory decrees (KHK), and they now say they want to go back to work.
The government has sacked approximately 15,000 medical staff via such decrees since 2016 using emergency rules powers in the aftermath of the coup.
The request for their jobs to be reinstated was backed by opposition parties that demanded the government rescind the dismissals.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and Future Party leader Ahmet Davtuoğlu said that the country needs its trained medical staff more than ever.
One of those sacked, physician Feyit Yılmaz, said he was prepared to go back to work for the welfare of the public.
He said although the sackings were unfair then still wanted to help saying: “The struggle of the Turkish Medical Association and associations putting a fight for the people is our struggle. I will be always ready for the duty from wherever the demand comes if it is undertaken for the people.”
Another sacked doctor now working for a private company said he wanted to go back “on behalf of humanity” and that the state would be crazy to turn down the offer amid such a crisis.
He said: “People whose crimes have not been yet proved need to be reinstated to their jobs.”
He also said he be happy to work for free adding: “For example, if they told me, ‘You are now working eight hours in your current job, but would you come and work for us eight hours afterwards in the evening?’ then I would come happily. On behalf the humanity, I can allocate all of my personal time to the state.”
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