Şebnem Korur Fincancı arrested over comments on chemical weapons

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  • 11:25 26 October 2022
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ANKARA - The Turkish doctor became a target of President Erdogan and his coalition partner Bahçeli folowing her comments on Turkey’s alleged use of chemical gases against the PKK during the ongoing operations in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Sebnem Korur Fincanci, head of the Turkish Medical Association, known as TTB, was arrested on early Wednesday morning during a raid to her home.  A prosecutor in Ankara gave the order of arrest as part of a new investigation of “terror propaganda” into Fincanci.
Prosecutor also demands the court to terminate Fincancı’s position as the head of the TTB by electing a new head for the executive council of the union.
Turkish prosecutors earlier this week launched an investigation into prominent doctor and human rights activist after she had examined video images released by Firat News Agency ANF and stated her suspicions that chemical weapons might have been used.
"It's obvious that one of the toxic chemical gases that directly affects the nervous system has been used," she stated..
"Although it is forbidden to use it, we see it is used in clashes."
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on October 24 targeted Fincancı, saying, “Both fort his person and fort his institution necessary steps will be taken.”
Erdoğan also said he has given “instructions” to his ministers to speed up their works in progress on the “new legistlation on all professional organisations, including the Turkish Medical Association”.
“A union which is the enemy of the Turks can not have the name of Turk in it. One of the most feasible things to do is to strip those who throw chemical weapons mud at Turkish soldiers with the mouths of traitors and villains, such as the President of the Turkish Medical Association and others, of their Turkish citizenship and condemn them to statelessness,” Devlet Bahçeli, the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party, the MHP, said. 
ANF on October 18 released images of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, the PKK, fighters, with the headline, “Last moment of the guerilla after being exposed to chemicals” which showed a man having a nervous crisis, hardly breathing, and shaking all over his body. 
Images triggered great response from the çivil society and the Kurdish diaspora around the World as tens of thousands took the streets protesting the against Turkey’s alleged deployment of chemical warfare during the ongoing cross-border aggression in Iraqi Kurdistan.
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), a non-partisan federation of medical groups in over 60 countries, sent a mission to northern Iraq in late September.
"Some indirect evidence for possible violations of the Chemical Weapons Convention was found," it said in its report.
"Material found near an area abandoned by the Turkish Army included containers for hydrochloric acid and bleach, which could be used to produce chlorine, a classical chemical warfare agent," according to the report. 
On the other hand Turkey strictly denied any use of chemical weapons.
"The allegations that 'chemical weapons' are used by the Turkish Armed Forces are completely unfounded and untrue," the Turkish defence ministry said.

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