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Opposition battles collection of medical records in Turkey

Turkey's Ministry of Health has embarked on a controversial effort to collect the names, addresses and diagnoses of psychiatric patients.
Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of Turkey's main opposition Republican Peoples Party (CHP), speaks to the press before a meeting in Ankara on June 15, 2015 AFP PHOTO/ADEM ALTAN        (Photo credit should read ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images)
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In May, the Turkish Ministry of Health asked family doctors to provide it with the medical records of patients with chronic psychotic disorders registered at communityl mental health centers. “The medical record files of patients with schizophrenia, paranoid disorders, psychotic disorders and bipolar disorders should be filled in and dispatched,” the official letter said. The Health Ministry’s latest move comes as a fresh indication that despite criticism and controversy over efforts to collect personal data, the government continues to try to compile detailed profiles of citizens.

The ministry’s request led Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader, to claim on March 17 that the police have been profiling all Turkish citizens. Speaking at a CHP parliamentary meeting, Kilicdaroglu charged that police intelligence “has collected online the personal information of all people in the country via the DEVA 1 and DEVA 2 [software] programs.”

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