Turkey Doctor sentenced for demeaning headscarf-wearing patients

Today's Zaman - Turkey - 01 December 2008

A court has sentenced a doctor who had told two patients not to wear headscarves to 10 months in prison. The sentence was later reduced to a fine. When Gamze Cak?c?, 20, and Hacer K?l?nc, 24, visited the Yal?hüyük Health Center in April for a checkup, Dr. Erol Eren told the women: "Be contemporary. Don't come here with those clothes."

Cak?c?, who filed a lawsuit against Eren, won the case after a six-month trial. The 10-month prison sentence given to the doctor was converted into a YTL 10,500 fine. Recalling the event, Cak?c? said:

"I had anemia, and I went to Dr. Eren's office with my friend. He told us that we cannot enter the building with our attire. He then showed us his daughter's picture, saying that she is a contemporary person with contemporary attire. He prescribed some medicine for me, and he kept on criticizing us. He also told the nurse that he will not forget our faces. We almost burst into tears."

Her father, Yusuf Cak?c?, presented a formal complaint to the prosecutor's office. After making its way through a chain of bureaucracy, the complaint ended up in court, where the (...)