Cardiothoracic surgeon Ersin Arslan, from the southeastern province of Gaziantep, was stabbed to death on Tuesday by the grandson of a patient who he operated on. Doctors were called to go on strike in a protest led by the Turkish Doctors' Union (TTB) on Wednesday and physicians and healthcare workers across the country responded by protesting Arslan's murder to draw attention to the general lack of security at hospitals.
Thousands of doctors from İstanbul gathered at Çapa Hospital and walked to Cerrahpaşa School of Medicine Hospital first before heading to Beyazıt Square. Doctors held banners that featured slogans calling for better protection for doctors and condemning Arslan's killing.
A large number of doctors and healthcare workers also gathered in front of Ankara's Numune Hospital. The crowd later headed towards the Ministry of Health.
The situation in other provinces was similar. However, some doctors did remain at their posts in order to attend to emergency cases.
Arslan was seriously wounded when a 17-year-old boy attacked him in his office. Arslan immediately received medical attention and was rushed into surgery by his colleagues; however, he died shortly after the incident.
The young man was later found with a knife in a hospital lavatory and handed over to police. The Gaziantep Police Department is investigating the incident. A court on Wednesday ordered the arrest of the suspect.