In a poignant show of solidarity, doctors across various cities of Turkey have taken to the streets in a silent march. Their cause? Standing shoulder to shoulder with Palestinian health workers grappling with the aftermath of the recent Israeli offensive in Gaza. This peaceful demonstration underscores the larger global plea for an end to the violence that has besieged the region and calls attention to the dire conditions faced by health workers in blockaded Gaza.
Palestinian Plight: a Humanitarian Crisis
The Israeli aggression has left Gaza in a state of chaos, with thousands of Palestinians missing and presumed buried under rubble. The coastal region, home to over two million people, has been subjected to a stringent siege by Israel. Data from the Gaza Electricity Distribution Company, shared by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), has revealed that Gaza has been without electricity for the last 52 days, further aggravating the humanitarian crisis.
Doctors for Palestine: Turkish Physicians Stand Up
Donning white coats marked with red handprints, Turkish doctors marched through Istanbul, bearing placards that read "Doctors stand with Palestine." The World Health Organization (WHO) reported 335 recorded attacks on healthcare in Palestinian territories since October 7, with 164 in Gaza and 171 in the West Bank. The silent march in Turkey was as much a protest against this violence as it was a show of support for their Palestinian counterparts.
Gaza's Health Crisis: A Call for Action
The Gaza Health Ministry spokesman stated that hospitals in the blockaded enclave have lost their capacity to treat patients due to overcrowding and lack of medical supplies. In Ankara, healthcare workers echoed this sentiment, staging a "silent march" of their own. Dr. Yasin Şimşek declared the Israeli attacks launched on October 7 as nothing short of genocide. The protestors also called for a boycott of pharmaceutical companies that openly support the oppression of Palestinians in Gaza, adding another layer to their message of unity and protest.