Friday, February 4, 2011

Kidney transplants: Monster or Savior? Turkish dDoctor Draws New Scrutiny


For a surgeon wanted by Interpol and suspected of harvesting human organs for an international black-market trafficking ring, Yusef Sonmez, was remarkably relaxed as he sipped Turkish red wine in a bustling kebab restaurant facing the wind-whipped Sea of Marmara.

Dr. Sonmez, refreshed from a ski trip to Austria, spoke last month while on a break from business trips to Israel and operations on cancer patients here.

He boasts about the satisfaction of his kidney transplant surgeries, more then 2,400 by his count. He keeps friends (and, incidentally, investigators) up to date on his life via a blog and his Web site listing contact details. And in his seaside villa on the Asian side of Istanbul, he treasures a framed copy of a signed letter in 2003 from the Ministry of Health in Israel commending him for his life-saving aid to “hundreds of Israeli patients who are suffering from kidney diseases and awaiting transplants.”

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