Erdogan targets chair of Medical Association over her remark on chemical warfare
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan targeted the chair of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB), saying that "necessary steps will be taken in accordance with the investigation of the prosecution and court rulings" concerning her "slander" against the Turkish Armed Forces.
TTB chair Sebnem Korur Fincanci earlier told Belgium-based Medya TV on 19 October that she concluded, after watching a footage allegedly showing the effects of chemical agents on a victim in Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), that a toxic chemical gas which affects the nervous system was apparently used.
The pro-Kurdish opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) also released a statement on allegations of Turkey's use of chemical weapons in its military campaign in KRI, and called on the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to investigate.
A criminal investigation was launched over Fincanci's remarks on 20 October.
Erdogan said in his address to the nation after a cabinet meeting on Monday:
"The judiciary has taken action against the Turkish Medical Association's chair who made a slander against our Turkish Armed Forces who have been conducting cross border campaigns (...) We will see, through a new legislation if necessary, that this person is removed from her post. I believe that it disturbs every single individual of our nation that such a person, who slanders the reputation of her nation and army using the language of the terrorist group, is currently heading an institution whose title begins with the word Turkish."
"Restructuring of professional associations" instructed by Erdogan
"Necessary steps, concerning both this person and the association in question, will be taken in accordance with the results of the investigation carried out by Ankara Prosecutor's Office and with the court rulings. We [I] have given instructions in the cabinet meeting to speed up work for a legislation proposal to restructure professional associations, particularly the Turkish Medical Association. We are determined to purge supporters of terrorist organizations who have turned professional associations into trumpets of their ideological obsessions, and to make these associations focus once again on activities in accordance with their founding principles."