The Turkish Medical Association (TBB) said in a written statement on Sunday that they are worried about the emotional well-being of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, described by the group as using “polarizing, excluding and 'otherifying' language” against certain groups of people.
The TBB said it was “terrified” by what the prime minister said about Berkin Elvan, a 15-year-old boy who died last week after spending nine months in a coma after he was hit on the head by a tear gas canister shot by a police officer last summer. During a Justice and Development Party (AK Party) election rally in Diyarbakır on March 14, Erdoğan claimed that Elvan was a member of a terrorist organization and that he had covered his face with a scarf, making it impossible for the police officer who hit him to have known his age.
The statement posted on the TBB's website read: “Under normal circumstances, no one would make two families who lost their children confront each other. Under normal circumstances, no one would call a 15-year-old boy who was shot in the head by a police officer and who died after struggling for his life for 269 days a terrorist. Under normal circumstances, no one would define marbles placed on the grave of a boy who loved games as ‘iron balls.' Under normal circumstances, no one would make participants at an election rally jeer at a mother who buried her son only two days ago. We are doctors. We can accurately assess the emotional well-being of a person, and we are worried about the emotional well-being of Prime Minister Erdoğan. We are terribly worried. We are worried for him, his family and the entire country. And we would like to share our worry with the public.”