War Crime in Erdogan’s Turkey?

by Courtney C Horne @FireezDragon

As unrest has progressed in Turkey, Erdogan’s government has escalated their actions from the already deplorable mass tear gassing. They have arrested attorneys who supported protesters, raided opposition party offices, threatened to ban twitter, and detained Canadian journalists- among many other horrifying actions.

Things took a turn for the even worse Saturday evening when they moved to clear Gezi park. On that evening, the Turkish police forces did something so shocking that I couldn’t believe the images initially. They started arresting doctors treating protesters, interfering with clinics, and some reports suggest they even entered an ER to detain people. There are certainly images of the emergency room entrance so clouded with tear gas that I can’t imagine it would not have effected everyone’s care- not just the protesters.

And they aren’t pretending to not have targeted medical personnel. In fact, they have issued a threat: care for the wounded protesters and you will be prosecuted.

Now, I am not an expert in the super murky world of international law. However, on its face, this looks to me like it would be a clear violation of the Geneva Conventions as they pertain to Medical Neutrality were this a war time. It likely violates other treaties which deal with human rights during times of civil unrest.

Imagine what other terrible things Erdogan’s government may be capable if they are so willing to ignore all international conventions and brutally target medical personnel.