The Extraordinary Success Story of Doctor Ateş, Our Secretary General, in Greece
Due to political pressures, well-trained doctors, surgeons, academics, teachers and distinguished people from various professions in Turkey had to flee the country.
Among these distinguished individuals, is one of the most important cardiac surgeons trained in Turkey with published research, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Ateş .
Having performed approximately 800 aorta and 7 thousand open heart surgeries, the Professor still keeps the highest score among the surgeons of Turkey, a score which was achieved 7 years ago.
Ateş, who became a refugee overnight, continued to practice his profession in Greece for many years and under difficult conditions.
Ateş, who uses his profession to serve humanity beyond financial interest, will help everyone who is a refugee like him in terms of health.
Ateş lately has plenty of reasons to be excited. Having completed the recognition of his diplomas in Greece, where he has been living in exile, he has recently opened his own clinic. The opening event was filled with emotional moments and was attended by Ioannis Fostiropoulos, the Mayor of Paleo Faliro, Evanthia Reboutsika, the famous Greek musician and many of the Professor’s Greek colleagues and Turks who live in Greece.
Celebrating 33 years in the profession, Ateş stated in his speech in both Greek and Turkish, “Years ago, I came to Greece for a conference. If someone had said to me that 14 years from then, you will become a refugee here, I wouldn’t have believed him”.
Describing his first years as a refugee, Ateş said, “When I came to Greece as a refugee, in the beginning I was staying with young people at the back street near the hotel I used to stay years ago. As we were passing by this hotel almost every day, I deeply felt that fate has guided us. When I look at my lifeline, I ask myself “which years would you not change?” and I realize that I would not change my years in Greece for any period of my life, including the years when my career was at its peak.”
Referring to his past years in the profession, Ateş said, “The lunar year and the solar year meet once in 33 years, and I am now restarting here, exactly 33 years from my graduation.”
Ateş, one of the most important heart surgeons in Turkey, who entered the medical literature with his surname, “Fire Technique”, was the former rector and founding chairman of the board of trustees of the currently closed down, Şifa University. After completing his education in the field of aortic surgery in the USA in 2005, he returned to Turkey and went to Istanbul. He established the aortic surgery clinic at Siyami Ersek Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery Center.
Ateş started his service as chairman of the board of trustees of Şifa University -Turkey’s first medical university- back in 2010. At the time of its shutting down, Şifa University was the main medical foundation in Turkey with 2,700 students, 2,600 employees, three campuses and 15 health and education facilities. The university, which was valued at nearly one billion dollars in appraisal reports and was closed overnight, along with 15 other universities and thousands of educational institutions.
Prof. Dr. Mehmet Ateş is trained to diagnose and treat cardiovascular diseases, treat varicose veins under local anesthesia and minor surgical procedures (including circumcision) in his newly opened clinic. The clinic also functions as a family-child health center. Prof. Ateş treats his patients who require open heart surgery at the Mitera Hospital.
Having held various positions since the establishment of PIGI Koinsep, Dr. Ateş is still working as a volunteer general secretary. He also provides guidance and counseling for the treatment of health issues of our members and other refugees under the umbrella of the Health Platform, of which he holds the position of chairman.