Turkey denying healthcare to terminally ill - Fox News
Turkey’s post-coup purge has barred hundreds of thousands of Turkish citizens from leaving the country, including thousands of terminally ill patients unable to receive better healthcare abroad, Fox News reported on Tuesday.
Following the failed coup of July 2016, Turkey’s government arrested tens of thousands of people for suspected connections to the coup plotters and dismissed more than a hundred thousand people from positions in judiciary, armed services and education sector.
Many of those dismissed, and others linked to them, were barred from leaving the country, even to receive much-needed healthcare, for which they are no longer eligible in Turkey.
“The government has canceled the passports of over 210,000 family members for over two years simply because they were related to individuals who had been purged or under investigation. Since 2016, purged individuals have not only lost their jobs, but also their health insurance and pensions, and therefore cannot access healthcare services in Turkey unless someone is willing to cover their medical bills,” said Aykan Erdemir, senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and former member of Turkish Parliament, “By banning them also from travel abroad, the government has condemned them to starvation and denied them healthcare.”
Psychiatry professor Haluk Savaş said he was denied a passport for having been previously held on house arrest over accusations of links to the Gülen movement, which Turkey’s government blames for the coup attempt.
Savaş said he lost his position at Gaziantep University and was diagnosed with cancer while under house arrest. He said doctors had given him just nine more months to live, yet he has been refused permission to travel to Asia or the United States for immunotherapy treatments that could extend is life.
Savaş, as a last resort, made his case public on social media this week and received enormous support from all political circles, including the ruling Justice and Development Party lawmaker Mustafa Yeneroğlu.
According to Erdemir, the Turkish government’s policies resembles the brutal policies of the 1980 military government, which similarly prevented cancer patients from receiving treatment abroad.
Ahmet Seyithanoğlu, a Turkish attorney who is now based in New York, pointed to 12-year-old Furkan Dizdar, who was told by doctors soon after the failed coup that his brain cancer was incurable and he would likely die within a month.
“The family found that there is a possible cure or treatment in Cuba and they decided to go there for their son, “said Seyithanoğlu. But they were barred from leaving the country, and Furkan died in February 2017.
Some 130,000 public servants were dismissed in the post-coup purge, and not only were their passports cancelled, but in many cases so too were the passports of their husband or wife, said Fox. As a result, the health issue is likely to worsen.