Turkish healthcare professionals call for medical neutrality in Ukraine

Eight medical organizations in Turkey have in a joint statement called for medical neutrality in Ukraine, referring to the principles of the Geneva Conventions, saying “War kills and peace saves lives.”

All professional medical groups in the war zone should be protected and not be prevented from fulfilling their duties, the statement said.

The principle of medical neutrality originates from the Geneva Conventions, a set of international laws that delineates the rules of war. The Geneva Conventions consist of four treaties and three protocols, all of which are observed and agreed upon by almost 200 hundred countries. The conventions were set up to protect and promote the wellbeing of non-fighters including civilians and healthcare workers during times of conflict.

Turkish rights groups earlier called on Russia to immediately end its invasion of Ukraine, saying, “War means death, migration, starvation, torture and oppression.”

Ukrainians living in Turkey and representatives of several nongovernmental organizations have been protesting the Russian invasion of Ukraine since its start on February 24.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called the Russian invasion “unacceptable” but at the same time, Ankara has not joined Western sanctions against Moscow and has refused to close its airspace to Russian planes.

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