World Bulletin / News Desk
Dr. Mehmet Emin Özdoğan, known for treating many well-known members of the Turkish political and bureaucratic world, was caught by police as he accepted a 5,000 euro bribe to operate on a patient already covered by Turkish social security.
Özdoğan, whose name has gone down in Turkish medical literature for new methods used in heart transplants and whose former patients include eighth Turkish President Turgut Özal, was caught accepting "knife money," or a bribe, for an operation from his patient.
A member of the Gazi University medical faculty specializing in heart and vascular surgery, Dr. Özdoğan was arrested by police when caught in the act of accepting the money.
The chain of events that led to Özdoğan's arrest began with a complaint from retired government clerk H.K. to the Social Security Institution (SGK).
In his letter of complaint, H.K. asserted that despite the fact that he was covered by social security, Özdoğan had demanded TL 25,000 from him to perform bypass surgery.
Following this, meetings were held with H.K., and the matter was shared with the Ankara Prosecutor's Office. Former government clerk H.K. repeated his assertions to prosecutors, noting that through bargaining with the famous doctor, he had been able to reduce the fee to 5,000 euros. Acting on this testimony, the prosecutor's office then ordered police to carry out a sting operation, using banknotes with serial numbers that had been identified. Teams with the Ankara Police Department's Organized Crime Unit told H.K. to arrange a meeting in which the money that Özdoğan was demanding would exchange hands. Özdoğan complied with H.K.'s request, telling the latter to meet him at his office on Feb. 4.
On the day of the meeting, H.K. visited Özdoğan's office accompanied by two plainclothes officers who he identified as his close relatives.
During the meeting, Özdoğan accepted the bribe money, and as soon as he had put it into his pocket, the police identified themselves as such and arrested the famous doctor.
A statement issued later by Özdoğan denied all wrongdoing but failed to explain why he had accepted the money. After spending one night in jail, Özdoğan was freed on his own recognizance and was ordered to appear at the local police station once every two days to sign in and show his whereabouts to authorities. He will be tried in the near future.
Last Mod: 10 Şubat 2011, 15:05