Fincanci, who was targered due to her chemical weapons remarks responded: “The investigation aims to silence society, not me.”
Sebnem Korur Fincanci, the head of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB), who made a medical assessment of the footage showing the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Turkish military against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the territory of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government has been targeted by the pro-government media. An investigation has been launched against Fincanci.
“WHO WILL THEY ASK IF THEY WILL NOT ASK ME?”
Speaking to Arti Gercek, Fincanci stated that besides being a healthcare professional, she is a forensic medicine specialist and that she worked in the field of human rights and severe torture. Fincanci said: “Who will they ask how to proceed in this matter if they will not ask me? Nothing could be more natural than this.”
“THE INVESTIGATION IS NOT DIRECTED AGAINST ME; IT INTENDS TO SILENCE SOCIETY”
Speaking about the launch of an investigation against her immediately after being targeted by pro-government media, Fincanci said that the investigation was not directed against her but intended to silence society.
Stating that she does not hesitate to respond when asked a question, Fincanci said:
“I have said everywhere that the necessary investigations about those who are responsible should be conducted and what kind of an examination and investigation process should be carried out, I did not hesitate to say these. Therefore, they cannot think that this will make me avoid anything. This is actually a silencing attempt against society. At the same time, they are opening up a new area of attack against our professional organization. However, it has nothing to do directly with our professional organization. Of course, as physicians, we express our opinions when there are allegations of war crimes and their effects on health. But this is an issue that is more a concern of forensic medicine. That is why they consulted me and I told them my opinion.”
Fincanci, who is currently abroad, said that she was shown the video by her physician friends from the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) and that they were discussing this matter. Fincanci stated that a representative from IPPNW went to the scene to investigate and this was how she became aware of the issue.
“AN OPPORTUNITY FOR THE GOVERNMENT AND THE NON-INDEPENDENT JUDICIARY”
“I said that there are allegations and they should be investigated. However, the government and the non-independent judiciary saw this as an opportunity. This is unfortunate for my country. We will see what kind of process will take place when I return to Turkey.”
Responding to the discussions about why she made such a statement Fincanci said: “This is exactly my area of expertise. For example, during the pandemic process, since the Ministry of Health did not share the data truthfully, the infectious diseases specialists and pulmonology specialists criticized the Ministry of Health. As TTB, we demanded data transparency and tried to share the truth that we could find with the public. Actually, my statements are akin to that. Yet unfortunately, there is a smear campaign and a criminalization attempt. They tried to criminalize us back then as well. Whenever we criticize something, TTB ends up being targeted. Of course, I do not accept TTB being targeted.”
“THE OPPOSITION MEDIA REPORTED IT AS IF I DETECTED CHEMICAL WEAPONS”
Commenting on irresponsible reporting as well, Fincanci criticized some media outlets from the opposition for "irresponsible" reporting. Fincanci said: “They reported the news as if I had detected that chemical weapons were used; there is no such thing. I am just saying that in the videos I saw, there are involuntary contractions and that they can be caused by chemicals that affect the nervous system and that the way to reveal this is through effective research."