Edited By Adela Elena Popa, Hasan Arslan, Mehmet Ali Icbay and Tomas Butvilas
Health Propaganda During The Ataturk Period
(1923–1938) Introduction The administration of the newly founded Turkish state inherited a population overridden with heavy and widespread health issues (Irmak, 1988). Although in poverty and despair, the new administration began the process of reaching global health standards and revolutionising the nation’s healthcare system during the War of Independence (Sungur, 1988). The Ministry of Public Health and Safety (Original: Sıhhat and Içtimai Muavenet Vekâleti), the first formal institution at the ministry level in Turkish history, was founded by a decree issued on May 2, 1920 (Hakimiyeti Milliye, 1920, May 2; TBMM, 1960; Koylu&Altay, 2008). Be- cause the years of war had driven resources to the brink of depletion socially and economically, the country had virtually collapsed. However, from 1923 onwards, the nation began experiencing rapid economic and social developments under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and his genius and master statesmanship (Özgüldür, 2003). Despite the efforts made from 1920–1923, the health conditions and health-related services in the country during the Republic era were highly inadequate. In addition to social illnesses, such as malaria, syphilis, tuberculosis, and trachoma, there were also various problems related to nutrition, maternal and infant care, and environmental health. All these problems threatened a population that had already dwindled due to wars (Sungur, 1964). After the proclamation of the Republic, the Ministry of Public Health and Safe- ty (Sıhhat and Içtimai Muavenet Vekâleti – Dr. Refik Saydam) took action within the scope of its mandate and...
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