ISSN : 2146-3123
E-ISSN : 2146-3131

Turkey’s Epidemiological and Demographic Transitions: 1931-2013
Coşkun Bakar 1, Sibel Oymak 1, Işıl Maral 2
1Department of Public Health, Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University School of Medicine, Çanakkale, Turkey
2Department of Public Health, İstanbul Medeniyet University School of Medicine, İstanbul, Turkey
DOI : 10.4274/balkanmedj.2016.0960
Pages : 323-334

Background: The causes of death have changed with regard to the epidemiological and demographic events in society. There is no evidence of prior research into the epidemiological transition in Turkey. This transition in Turkey should be observed starting with the Ottoman Empire period (19th to early 20th century). However, information about the Ottoman Empire is quite limited.
Aims: To discuss the epidemiological and demographic transitions in Turkey, using demographic, educational and urbanization data in our present study.
Study Design: A descriptive archive study.
Methods: Mortality statistics dating from 1931 and published by the Turkish Statistical Institute were analysed, and the causes of death were coded and classified according to ICD-10. Other data were obtained from the published reports and studies regarding the issue.
Results: In the 1930s, Turkey’s life expectancy was low (aged 40 years), fertility and mortality rates were high (respectively 45% and 31%), and the main causes of death were infectious diseases. Nowadays, life expectancy is close to 80 years, the total fertility rate has dropped to 2.1 per woman, and the main causes of death are chronic diseases and cancer. The population rate in the urban areas has increased steadily from 24.2% in 1927 to 77.3% in 2012. level of education has also increased during this period. In 1935, less than 10% of women were literate, and in 2013 90% were literate. Qualitative and quantitative increase have been observed in the presentation and access of healthcare services compared to the early years of the Republic.
Conclusion: Turkey has been undergoing a modernization period in the last 200 years, and it is believed that the epidemiological and demographic transitions result from this period. This process has led to urbanization and an increase in the level of education, as well as a decrease in premature deaths, lower fertility rates, and an increase in the elderly population and chronic diseases. It is therefore our conclusion that Turkey needs policies regarding the elderly population and the management of chronic diseases.

Keywords : Epidemiological transition, demographic transition, modernization, mortality data, Turkey
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