Turkish Government Urged to Restore Basic Health Care to Cities in Conflict

(15.09.2015) An appeal to all parties of armed conflicts occurring in south-eastern cities of Turkey to restore basic health care has come from the World Medical Association.

According to the Turkish Medical Association, the cities of Diyarbakir, Cizre, Varto, Yuksekova, Semdinli, Lice, Silvan and Silopi have been the centre of fierce fighting between the military and militants for two months. This has provoked attacks on healthcare workers and ambulances, and has led the Turkish Government to curtail the movement of citizens as well as their basic health care during the curfews.

Dr. Xavier Deau, President of the WMA, said: ‘We are receiving alarming reports from the Turkish Medical Association about ambulances not being allowed to tend to those killed and wounded in the fighting in the city or take them to hospital. The Government curfew prevented people from going out to buy food and water and no outside observers are being allowed to visit the city to investigate the situation. This lack of basic health care and the failure to allow health professionals to move freely in the city is a scandal that must end.

‘We urge the Turkish Government to bring a halt to this inhumane situation and to allow health professionals to care for the sick and wounded.’