Turkish gov’t jails ‘Doctor of the Year’ as ‘terrorist’ over alleged Gülen links

Turkish government has jailed Assoc. Professor Dr. Mustafa Emmiler, who was rewarded as ‘Doctor of the Year’ by the Governor of Antalya province and who was also honoured by then-Turkish President Abdullah Gül, as ‘terrorist’ over his alleged links to the Gülen movement since August 15, 2016.

Dr. Emmiler has become one of the victims who could not escape the anti-democratic persecution that surrounded the country under the rule of autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He was arrested on August 15, 2016 and is still in prison.

According to the information shared by magduriyetler.com on social media, Dr. Mustafa Emmiler was the Clinic Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery in Antalya Training and Research Hospital. He achieved numerous successes with his team. He succeeded in replacing the aortic valve cap through a half-hour operation, entering the patient’s groin area without stopping the heart of Sebahat Kaytan, a 79-year-old patient, in 2013. Thus, he reduced a highly risky 6-hour heart surgery to half an hour. This operation was performed for the first time in Antalya province and there have been only a few cases in the country.

Dr. Emmiler and his team had also succeeded in performing by-pass surgery for a 96-year-old patient named Hıdır Torak, whose left coronary artery was 90 percent narrower, for the first time in Turkey. Moreover, with the leadership of Dr. Mustafa Emmiler, ‘mitral valve surgery’ was realised at the Antalya Training and Research Hospital without stopping the heart, without opening the chest for two patients in September 2014.

Thanks to his successes Dr. Mustafa Emmiler was elected as the ‘Doctor of the Year’ and awarded by Antalya Governor Ahmet Altıparmak in 2013. However, Dr. Emmiler, whose studies and achievements had been covered both by the local and national media, was detained and arrested on August 15, 2016 in the wake of a controversial coup attempt. Pro-government media, which had praised his successes previously to the sky, applauded her arrest with the headlines saying ‘Health Imam Arrested’ this time.

Dr. Emmiler’s lawyer Hüsnü Yılmaz Okutucu has appealed against the arbitrary arrest decision several times however the court rejected all appeals. Lawyer Okutucu has stated in his explanatory statement that his client was arrested by citing an unfounded letter, saying that Emmiler was a prize-winning surgeon, had five operations per day and his patients were also victimized after being arrested as an alleged member of a “terrorist organization.”

It was reported that the staff of the Antalya Training and Research Hospital, who was also applauded for Dr. Emmiler’s successes until a month before his arrest, experienced a great shock for his detention and imprisonment. They have reportedly stated that “Our professor, who has won many achievement awards during his 30 successful years in profession, has been subjected to unreasonable treatment. There are still patients whose heart therapy have been ongoing, and this inhuman treatment makes them the most victimized. The actions taken to our professor are unlawful and he must be released as soon as possible.”

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

Turkey’s Justice Ministry announced on July 13 that 50,510 people have been arrested and 169,013 have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

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