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Turkish Medical Association calls for help to defend its role

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e529 (Published 20 January 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e529
  1. Ned Stafford
  1. 1Hamburg

The Turkish Medical Association has issued an appeal for support from the World Medical Association, saying that a decree adopted by the Turkish government to give more authority to the Ministry of Health is threatening its autonomy.

In a letter to the world association the Turkish association says that the decree, adopted in November, has stripped it of several key functions, making it impossible to fulfil some of its chief missions, including “ensuring that [medicine] is practised and promoted in line with public and individual wellbeing and benefit” and protecting the rights of doctors.

Feride Aksu Tanik, secretary general of the Turkish Medical Association, told the BMJ that the government decree has amended laws that affect not just the association but other medicine related organisations and medical schools.

“We deeply believe in the necessity of the self …

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