Three suicides over the span of a few days have prompted public concern over work-related stress of doctors and other medical personnel. Although the exact causes leading to the suicides are not known, social media is awash with complaints by medical personnel who claim they have been subject to grueling shifts and mobbing at the workplace.
On Oct. 30, Yağmur Çavuşoğlu, a medical student at Istanbul's Maltepe University, killed herself. One day later, Ece Ceyda Güdemek, a 26-year-old doctor working at a hospital in the southern city of Adana, jumped to her death from her sixth-floor apartment. On the same day, 39-year-old surgeon Engin Karakuş administered a deadly dose of tranquilizers to himself at his home in the eastern city of Batman. Karakuş's suicide note said he was fed up with the "headache" while Çavuşoğlu complained of sleeplessness as she prepared for exams. Güdemek's brother told the media that she was complaining of mobbing at her workplace. Speaking to Habertürk daily, Hasan Burak Güdemek said his sister left a suicide note that said: "People will change and work for the good of others" after her death. Her father, Hamza Güdemek, said the young doctor worked in difficult conditions and was suffering mentally due to long working hours. Güdemek was working 36-hour shifts with a 12-hour break, her family said.
Speaking to reporters about the suicides, Health Minister Ahmet Demircan said it is not clear what drove the doctors and Çavuşoğlu to their deaths but it is his ministry's primary task to improve working conditions for healthcare personnel. "We need more personnel to improve conditions. We have a shortage of doctors," Demircan said.