A Turkish-origin Brussels lawmaker has told Anadolu Agency has been barred from the board of a university hospital in the Belgian capital.
Sevket Temiz, 47, a Socialist member of the parliament of the Brussels-Capital Region since 2014, was nominated by his party to join the board of Brugmann University Hospital ahead of an election to the post.
However, a Belgium-based collective group against genocide crimes sent a letter to Brussels Mayor Philip Close claiming Temiz should “unconditionally” accept Armenian claims which describe WWI deaths in eastern Turkey as “genocide”.
The hospital’s board of doctors, which has no right to vote, has also announced that it would protest Temiz’s candidacy if he did not accept the genocide claims publicly.
Nevertheless Temiz says he is being victimized for his ethnicity.
“I was oppressed for being a Turk,” Temiz said, after seven groups including Armenian, Assyrian and Jewish lobbies campaigned against his appointment.
Following a meeting with the board of doctors, Temiz said he told them it was not right to discuss a topic in a hospital which is being discussed by historians.
Although his Socialist Party policy accepts the genocide claims, “the only reason” behind the pressure on him is his Turkish identity, Temiz stressed.
“Do you have the courage to put pressure on someone who is French or an American?” he asked the board of doctors during the meeting, Temiz said.
He also said this board later denied any “ethnic basis” for his rejection after it was realized that the objection was ethnic rather than political.
Temiz added that the groups have got support from the Jewish lobby, comparing hisissue with the appointment of a someone who did not accept the Jewish Holocaust to a hospital in Berlin.