Dear Member,In accord with our mandate, please note the letter below protesting the Turkish government’s maligning and unjustified treatment of the Turkish Medical Association.

Please consider sending your personal message of protest as well.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey:
Selçuk Ünal, Ambassador of Turkey:

Thank you.

Kindest Regards,
DARA Executive


February 2, 2018

Recep Tayyip Erdogan,
President of Turkey
06560 Bestepe
Ankara, Turkey

Mr. President Erdogan,

We write to protest the intimidation and arrest of the leaders of the Turkish Medical Association (TMA).  Our organization opposes all forms of racism and discrimination in the medical profession, and we also oppose violations of the practice rights of physicians, as well as any violations of the civil or human rights of physicians and patients.

The campaign of harassment and intimidation, as well as the gross violations of the liberty rights of the TMA leaders, constitutes a violation of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) ratified by Turkey in 2003.  Turkey is therefore bound by the provisions of the ICCPR, and violated this covenant by arresting the TMA leaders.

Furthermore, other actions by your government over the past five years constitute a grave threat to the medical profession, and interfere with the ability of physicians to practice our profession.  In June 2013 your government arrested physicians who provided medical care to patients injured during the Gezi Park protests, and after the 2016 coup attempt your government arrested many apolitical physicians.

The TMA only released a carefully worded statement regarding the public health hazards of warfare and the duty of TMA to preserve life.  Such an act does not deserve official harassment, intimidation, and arrest.  We believe your government can best fulfill its civic duties by releasing the physician leaders, guaranteeing their civil and human rights, safeguarding their professional duties to the people of Turkey, and end the prolonged campaign of harassment and intimidation of physicians in Turkey.


Leon Kadish, MD, Chair
DARA Board of Directors