Turkish doctors go on strike after death of cardiologist

Medical workers in Turkey have launched a two-day strike demanding better working conditions after a deadly attack on a doctor.

On Thursday, protesters took to the streets of several Turkish cities, calling for further action to prevent violence.

The strike comes one day after cardiologist Dr. Ekrem Karakaya was shot to death in a hospital in downtown Konya on Wednesday.

Karakay was reportedly killed by a man who blamed him for his mother’s death. The shooter is also believed to have shot the doctor’s secretary before taking his own life.

In Istanbul, police used tear gas and pepper gas to disperse medical workers who tried to march to the local health authority’s office to denounce the attack.

Meanwhile, the country’s health minister was booed during the funeral of 47-year-old Karakay.

The shooting in Konya came amid an increase in attacks on medical workers in Turkey, mostly by patients or their relatives. At least 316 healthcare workers have been victims of violence in 2021, according to the Saglik-Sen Union of Health and Social Care Workers.

According to the Turkish Medical Association (TTB), many medical professionals are leaving Turkey in the hope of finding better working conditions and quality of life.

Turkey is at the height of the cost of living with inflation at almost 80%, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.