Turkey, Turkish doctor murdered in a hospital in Konya

Health workers go on strike after brutal murder of a doctor

A Turkish doctor was killed by a security guard who later committed suicide. 50% of health personnel have suffered aggressions from patients.

Thousands of health workers in Turkey have joined the general strike called today by the Union of Health and Social Services Workers (Sağlık-Sen) after the brutal murder of Ekrem Karakaya, a doctor from the Turkish province of Anatolia.

“Due to the criminal murder of Ekrem Karakaya in the line of duty in Konya Hospital City, as Sağlık-Sen, we have called a strike in all health institutions and organizations on July 7,” the Turkish union announced in a statement after the news of the doctor’s death.

The murder has unleashed a wave of indignation among Turkish health personnel, and brings to light again the problem of violence against health workers, in a country where – according to a report presented a year ago by the Sağlık-Sende union – on average, between 20 and 30 health workers are attacked by patients each month.

Despite the fact that the Turkish parliament recently approved tougher penalties for acts of violence against health workers, more than half of health workers in Turkey say they have suffered violence at work, often from patients upset that they were not prescribed the medicine or treatment they want, or at the hands of relatives of patients who are receiving treatment or have died.

The murderer, a security guard, committed suicide after the crime

This has in fact been the tragic case that led to the death of Karakaya, who was shot dead yesterday by Hacı Mehmet Akçay, a hospital security guard, paradoxically in charge of ensuring his safety; Akçay murdered the doctor for blaming him for the death of his mother, Kezban Akçay, who had died a month earlier of a heart attack. After committing the crime, the murderer took his own life by committing suicide with the pistol with which he had killed Karakaya.

The Turkish Minister of Health, Fahrettin Koca, confirmed the news in recent hours through his official Twitter account: “A security guard from the Yunak District State Hospital shot a doctor with his pistol in the Konya Hospital City , causing his death. He himself also died in the event.” “Authorities are continuing the investigation into this heinous crime. I send my condolences to the entire nation,” added the minister.

Konya Governor Vahdettin Özkan “vehemently” condemned the killing, stressing that citizens should be thankful for the care provided by health workers. Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan also condemned the brutal murder of the doctor, whose family he personally telephoned to convey his condolences.