Israel massacred thousands of innocent civilians in Gaza, which it had been blockading and under heavy bombardment for days, using disproportionate force. Among the targets of Israel, which kills many people, most of them children, are healthcare institutions, organizations, vehicles and personnel that have immunity in all kinds of incidents. These bombs dropped by Israel are not only dropped on innocent civilians, most of whom are children, but actually on the conscience of all humanity. In fact, the whole world is witnessing not a war but a great atrocity. This genocide committed by Israel is a test of humanity for all countries. Unfortunately, the western world in particular fails this exam once again.

The Western world, which remained silent about Israel’s war crimes and even supported its crimes, committed the same crimes against the Turks during the First World War. Just as Israel is attacking hospitals today, England and France also attacked Turkish healthcare institutions, vehicles and personnel between 1914 and 1918.

According to the Geneva Convention dated 6 July 1906 and the Hague Convention dated 18 October 1907, health institutions will never be attacked, their personnel and vehicles will not be touched or detained. The Ottoman State also informed the parties that it was a party to these two agreements and that it would fully comply with their provisions, and also provided information about the Red Crescent (Hilal-i Ahmer).

All states that will go to war must organize their health services, as well as their armies, with great care. For example; Using all its resources, the Ottoman Empire established 26 hospitals with 11,700 beds only around Çanakkale and Gallipoli in 1915. The public also had great support in establishing these hospitals. In addition to the hospitals, the ship named Gülnihal with a capacity of 700 people and 3 more ships with a capacity of 300 people were converted into hospitals.

The Ottoman Empire informed the relevant countries and the International Committee of the Red Cross about all these health institutions and organizations. Despite this, from August 1914 to the end of the First World War, there were more than 80 attacks on Turkish healthcare institutions and vehicles, and many healthcare personnel were either killed or captured.

We can list some of these attacks as follows:

– The shooting of Turkish hospitals in Gallipoli and Çanakkale in the spring of 1915


– Bombing of Çanakkale Hospital in September 1915


– Bombing of the Turkish hospital in Yalova on December 17, 1915


– Bombing of the Red Crescent hospital on the Egyptian Front on 16 November 1916


– Bombing of the Turkish hospital in Vadisarar in August 1917


– The shooting of an Ottoman healing ambulance in Palestine on March 7, 1918


– The shooting of the Turkish Health Center in Üsküdar on July 7, 1918


– Capturing of Ottoman medical personnel by the Tigris River


– The shooting of the Ottoman Red Crescent Ship Hospital Gülnihal ferry


– In May 1915, the hospital with a capacity of 2500 people in Eceabat was shelled by the British.


– In June 1915, French radio conversations containing orders to target Maydos and surrounding health institutions were recorded.


– The hospital and medical unit were shot in Gallipoli Havuzludere on 16-17 July 1915.

The Ottoman Empire reported all these attacks to the International Committee of the Red Cross. Unable to deny these attacks, Britain and France lied that the points they bombed were military headquarters that looked like hospitals. In summary, not much has changed since a hundred years ago. The western world, the so-called defender of democracy and human rights, shows today that it can commit all kinds of massacres against civilians, even children, for the sake of its interests.

Savaş Eğilmez

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