The chair of the Turkish Medical Association has indicated that as appointments to the Turkish Forensic Medicine Institute are always made by the political authority, the decisions of the institution are always made in the interests of the political authority.
Speaking to Mezopotamya News Agency, Professor Şebnem Korur Fincancı emphasised that the situation has worsened still more in recent years.
“The frequently used analogy for the Chilean forensic medicine institute during the rule of the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was, ‘the towel that Pinochet used to wipe the blood off his hands,'” she said.
“Unfortunately the institute in Turkey similarly enforces decisions which help absolve the state of its crimes. Just as the political authority uses the judiciary as an instrument to jail political figures, opposition members and free-thinking minds, so too the forensic medicine institute avoids taking steps to prevent the fatal consequences some of these prisoners are forced to face.”
Fincancı emphasised that poor prison conditions from the point of view of health risks have recently worsened due to quarantine, as the prisoners have been further isolated in wards and left to fend for themselves, without any assistance.
“The quarantine periods are not simply over in just 15 days. As you know, the prisoners are imposed a quarantine after they’ve been diagnosed at the hospital. However, by the time their quarantine is about to end, new prisoners arrive with another diagnosis, and the quarantine can go on forever. So people are forced to live in very severe conditions of isolation.”
She noted that conditions of transportation were bad enough, but there were also cases of violations of medical ethics during medical examination procedures at hospitals.
“Unfortunately, sometimes the way the prisoners are treated by our colleagues can be shameful. There can be violations of medical ethics. Colleagues may choose to examine the patient in handcuffs, or with police officers present in the same room, in a violation of privacy. Colleagues may sometimes also be actually forced or threatened to make the examination in this way, or sometimes they are simply not aware of what they should be doing.