Khalil Mabrouk - Istanbul

The death of the Syrian doctor, Muhammad al-Shamaa, left a shock among his colleagues in Turkey, and highlighted the support of Syrian doctors for the health sector in the country to confront the Corona pandemic.

Al-Shemagh died last Monday in Istanbul, from infection with the "Covid 19" disease caused by the emerging corona virus after it was transmitted to him during his treatment of one of the infected people.

Despite the short time he spent in Turkey, the candle created a distinguished presence in the Arab community there. The Arabs knew him as a medical doctor in a clinic of a charity in Istanbul, as they knew him as a media face and active in social media.

Syrian doctors, along with their Turkish colleagues, are struggling to cope with the pandemic, which estimates say its damage has not yet reached its peak in Turkey, where data showed that 10 other Syrian doctors were infected with the virus.

The Syrian doctors in Turkey play a big role in providing medical care to the Syrian refugees and the Arab community in general, which led the Turkish government to make great efforts to integrate them into the public health sector in the country.

One of the Syrian medical centers in Istanbul (communication sites)

Street campaigns
Medical workers in the medical profession moved with the escalation of the Corona Virus crisis in Turkey, so more than 200 Syrian doctors took to the streets of the city of Gaziantep and took their positions to check pedestrians and passengers in cars at medical checkpoints and inspections that took place in the city.

Participation quickly expanded to extend to other states where Syrians are heavily populated, such as Urfa, Kilis, Ankara and Istanbul, in which Syrian doctors launched campaigns in support of the Turkish health sector in coordination with the state health directorate.

According to the Secretary-General of the Federation of Arab Associations in Turkey, Matin Turan, hundreds of Syrian doctors have put themselves alongside Arab colleagues of different nationalities, under the voluntary service of the Turkish Health Service.

Turan said in an interview with Al-Jazeera Net that the Turkish Ministry of Health has received all lists of volunteers and contact information with them in order to distribute them to various sites as necessary, and it is likely that the basic need of these teams in medical complexes and centers that serve the gatherings of refugees and Arab residents in Turkey.

In a post on Facebook, the head of the "Forum of Syrian Associations in Turkey" Dr. Mehdi Daoud announced that about 400 Syrian doctors are ready to volunteer and work to cope with the spread of the Corona virus in the country.

Syrian workers work in the medical professions in several areas to combat the disease, as doctors practice their work in government and private clinics and hospitals in examinations to detect the disease and provide treatment and medical follow-up to those infected with the virus.

Another team of medical professionals is active in spreading awareness and spreading ways to prevent infection with the Corona virus and how to deal with cases of suspicion, which provides an Arab medical reference for more than 5 million Arabs residing in Turkey.

Estimates indicate that 70% of the Syrian doctors are integrated into the Turkish health sector (Al-Jazeera)

Law and Integration
Turkish law gives foreign doctors the right to work in Turkish institutions, but it excludes dentists and pharmacists.

The doctors who wish to work are required to have a university degree equivalent, mastery of the Turkish language, possession of compulsory professional insurance and regular work, and a no-objection document from the Turkish judiciary and the embassy of the doctor’s country in Ankara.

Officials from the Arab medical sector in Turkey confirm that Syrian physicians who specialize in human medicine enjoy special conditions related to work and employment, but this does not apply to all medical sectors, especially dentists.

The head of the Arab Doctors Union in Turkey, Dr. Muhammad Al-Dali, says that Ankara provides job opportunities for Syrian human medicine specialists because of the shortage of Turkish doctors on the one hand, and the expansion of the absorptive capacity of the Turkish health sector on the other.

Al-Dali, who spoke by phone to Al-Jazeera Net, explains that the number of Syrian doctors in Turkey is around 2000, and rises to 2,500 when the doctors who do not practice the profession are counted here for various reasons.

He says that Syrian doctors have found reasonable job opportunities in Turkey, and that up to 70% of them have succeeded in obtaining Turkish citizenship, they have been integrated into the Turkish health sector and most of them have been appointed in health centers for migrants.

It also indicates that Ankara recently reduced the success rate for physicians practicing human medicine from 40 to 35 degrees, in order to open the door to greater numbers of them to engage in the Turkish medical sector.

Turkish parliamentary sources have confirmed to Al-Jazeera Net earlier that about 5,000 Syrian doctors have acquired Turkish citizenship and are able to work in the medical sector with all its branches, explaining that the naturalization of doctors is in line with the state's policies that granted citizenship to about 100,000 Syrians, most of them are doctors and engineers And businessmen.