Adopted by the 71st WMA General Assembly (online), Cordoba, Spain, October 2020
The WMA and its members are deeply concerned by the recent Turkish governmental announcement to dismantle the Turkish Medical Association as a national professional organisation, allegedly to “protect patients and the profession from terrorists”.
The Turkish Medical Association is a dedicated member of the WMA, recognised for its commitment to serve public health interests, to protect patients and physicians with respect of the ethical values of the profession.
The WMA considers that qualifying the thousand physicians’ members of the Turkish Medical Association as terrorists constitutes a grave defamation and an insult to the entire profession.
Recalling its Resolution on the Independence of National Medical Associations, the WMA opposes such governmental interference with the independent functioning of a national medical association and urges the government of Turkey and the members of the parliament to:
- Protect the establishment of the Turkish Medical Association as a national independent association and main representative of all physicians in the country, and prevent any legal regulation that will harm its professional autonomy;
- Respect the universal professional values of medicine, which were built upon thousands of years of experience and aim to prioritise patient and public health;
- Comply fully with international human rights instruments that Turkey is a State Party to.