Health ministry fails to provide certificate of good standing to doctor, victim of post-coup purge


Turkey’s health ministry has declined an application filed by a doctor who was fired from the civil service following a July 15, 2016 coup attempt in Turkey for a certificate of good standing in advance of moving abroad, the Kronos news website reported.

According to a letter signed by Azmi Ekmen, head of the health ministry’s EU affairs department, an application submitted by a doctor was rejected due to his dismissal from the civil service.

Post-coup purge victims have been facing discrimination in public services since the coup attempt.

The Turkish Medical Association (TTB) said that in the first seven months of  2022 a total of 1,402 doctors applied for a certificate of good standing in advance of moving overseas.

Many blame the policies of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and president and AKP leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for the exodus of doctors.

Erdoğan in a speech in March 2022 condemned an increasing number of Turkish doctors who are choosing to move to the private sector or go abroad for better job opportunities, saying they are free to go and that Turkey will find ways to make up for their loss.

After facing an angry reaction from the medical community, thousands of whose members took to the streets on the occasion of Medicine Day, marked every March 14 in Turkey, Erdoğan later praised the efforts of doctors, especially during the pandemic, and said, “Turkey is always in need of its doctors and is indebted to them.”

The Justice and Development Party (AKP) government declared a state of emergency in the aftermath of the failed coup that remained in effect until July 19, 2018. More than 130,000 public servants, including more than 21,000 health care professionals, as well as 24,706 members of the armed forces, were summarily removed from their jobs for alleged membership in or relationships with “terrorist organizations” by emergency decree-laws subject to neither judicial nor parliamentary scrutiny.

Turkey’s former public servants were not only fired from their jobs after the coup attempt; they were also prohibited from working again in the public sector and getting a passport. The government also made it difficult for them to work formally in the private sector. Notes were put on the social security database about dismissed public servants to deter potential employers.

They have also been facing discrimination in humanitarian assistance even if they were directly affected by the earthquakes.

Turkish state-owned Vakıfbank declined applications filed by post-coup purge victims for a loan that is being offered to people displaced by deadly earthquakes in southern Turkey in early February.

The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) announced a scholarship program for students who were affected by earthquakes, stating that individuals who were dismissed by emergency decrees are not eligible to apply.

Another purge victim and his family haven’t been allowed to stay in a student dormitory that was allocated to people displaced by the deadly earthquakes.

The purge victims are also not allowed to take advantage of a recently announced tax amnesty. In line with the law, people who owed back taxes, administrative fines, student loans, traffic fines or social security premiums prior to December 31, 2022 will be able to pay the amount due in 48 equal installments.

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