“Fake doctor” Ayse Ozkiraz remains under arrest

“Fake doctor” Ayse Ozkiraz remains under arrest
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Ayse Ozkiraz, who misrepresented herself as a “general practitioner,” went before a judge. Ozkiraz said, “I did not participate in examinations at the hospital. I sutured a patient once.” Ozkiraz remains jailed.

According to Arti Gercek, the trial of Ayşe Ozkiraz (21), who presented herself as a “general practitioner” in Tekirdag's Cerkezkoy State Hospital and was arrested when it was revealed that her diploma was not real, was sued for up to 13 years in prison. Her trial began on January 3.

Ozkiraz, who joined the meeting virtually through Turkey’s SEGBIS system, said, "I did not attend the examinations at the hospital. I sutured a patient once. I had had suturing lessons at the medical school. The doctor instructed me to practice suturing work on a pillow, and I even worked with the scissors, needle, and thread at the hospital." While the court decided to continue the detention, the next hearing was postponed to January 30.


The trial of Ayse Ozkiraz started today at the Cerkezkoy 5th Criminal Court of First Instance. While Ozkiraz was attending the hearing via SEGBİS, two of her lawyers and the lawyer of Cerkezkoy State Hospital were present at court. Ozkiraz noted in her defense that she was a high school graduate. She said that she had presented her own state ID card and criminal background report to enroll at the dormitory in Istanbul, and that she had never used her student ID card. Ozkiraz said, "There was no security at Capa Medical Faculty. I attended the classes in the Kemal Atay lecture hall. Later, I had my name written in the WhatsApp group chat used by the students there. I don't remember how many ID cards I had made in total. Because my student ID card was fake, I carried it in my wallet. I used the WhatsApp group to keep track of the classes so that I could participate in them," she said.


Explaining that she took her ill mother to Cerkezkoy State Hospital, Ozkiraz said, "When I took my mother to the hospital and explained my mother's illness in medical terms, the emergency physician asked, 'Are you a healthcare worker?' I introduced myself as a sixth-year medical student when he asked. I would watch the doctors as they conducted their examinations. I went next to the pediatrician and told him that I was interested in pediatric surgery and would like to spend time with him. I presented the TUS Exam results that I had prepared myself. They let me. I did not participate in examinations at the hospital, I only watched. I observed Dr. Murat during his examinations. I wore the uniforms that only the healthcare professionals used. They made me wear the secretary's outfit several times. I sutured once. I had had suturing lessons at the faculty. The doctor instructed me to practice suturing work on a pillow, and I even worked with the scissors, needle, and thread at the hospital. On a whim, I had a doctor’s stamp made for myself. When I got the stamp, the doctor, his secretary, and I laughed together. I never used the stamp; it remained in the doctor’s office. I never wrote a prescription. I was at Cerkezkoy State Hospital for a few months. During surgeries, I only stood next to the doctor.”

Ozkiraz's lawyer said, "My client told some lies in the past. She says she has wisened up in prison. She lied to her family and her boyfriend but has learned her lesson. There was no forgery of official documents. There are examples of this in the Court of Cassation.”

The trial continued with the statements of witnesses.


When defendant Ayse Ozkiraz was asked for her final defense during the hearing, she said, "I want to continue my education. I regret my actions very much, I would like to be my released. I apologize to you and everyone else for the lies I have told. I sleep on concrete. I want to be a doctor, I request my release."


Ozkiraz’s boyfriend Cemil Tekin, who was called to the stand as a witness, stated that they met on Instagram and said, "I did not see her receive money from anyone. She showed her Istanbul University ID card. She said over WhatsApp that she wanted to have a stamp made. I had the stamps done because I trusted that she was a doctor and gave it to her.”


At the end of the hearing, the prosecutor demanded the continuation of Ozkiraz's detention, whom he requested to be punished according to the maximum sentencing guidelines for the crime committed.


The court decided to continue Ayse Ozkiraz's detention and adjourned the hearing until January 30.


Murat K., one of the doctors at Cerkezkoy State Hospital, who was also a witness at the hearing, stated that he provided the doctor’s coat worn by Ozkiraz and said, "Not once did she examine a patient. She would always show me the doctors she was talking to on the phone. I don't know if they were really doctors. We thought she was a doctor too. I don’t know why she claims she has performed sutures. I would never let anyone else touch my patient. It’s my patient. Because before the defendant came to me, I saw her with the assistant chief physician five to six months ago in the emergency room. She was wearing a uniform. The assistant chief physician E. said that the defendant had just graduated and was very successful. He said she would be observing us. He said to help her. Then she came to me and showed me the student papers and the TUS Exam results. Usually, this is how students come to ask for help. The accused did not examine any patient. She would never put her phone down. She always said that he was talking to prosecutors. I am a doctor of 28 years and even I don't have that many photos. She was constantly taking photos of herself," he said.


Ayse Ozkiraz was taken into custody after other doctors suspected her and filed a complaint. She was arrested on October 25. Ozkiraz, who was placed in Tekirdag T-Type Prison, appealed the decision through her lawyer. Her lawyer's objection to detention at the Cerkezkoy 3rd Criminal Court of First Instance was rejected. Cerkezkoy Chief Public Prosecutor's Office completed the investigation regarding Ayse Ozkiraz. The indictment against Ozkiraz was accepted by the Cerkezkoy 5th Criminal Court of First Instance. The indictment requests Ozkiraz’s imprisonment for a maximum of 13 years, with two to five years for “forgery of official documents,” one to three years for “forgery of private documents,” and two to five years for “violation of the law no. 1219 which regulates unauthorized healthcare work.” (DHA)