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

History of Islamic Medical Schools in Turkey"s Territory
Selman Çıkmaz1, Recep Mesut2
1Department of Anatomy, Trakya University School of Medicine, Edirne, Turkey
2Emeritus Prof. Dr.
DOI : 10.4274/balkanmedj.galenos.2020.2020.4.160
Pages : 361-370


In today’s political borders of the Republic of Turkey, there exist very old institutions that train physicians according to Islamic medical science. In this study, 19 health institutions whose locations have been determined and documents finalized were approached in a chronological order and classified according to the historical periods: XIIth and XIIIth centuries (Seljukian period)-10, XIVth century (Ilkhanate dominion)-1, and XVth-XVIIth centuries (Ottoman period)-8 institutions. Some of them have a history of 900 years (Konya Mâristan-ı Atik, 1113; and Mardin Eminüddin Bimaristanı, 1122). In addition, some are in the form of a medical madrasah and an application hospital (Kayseri, 1206; Sivas, 1217). In these institutions, great masters of Islamic medicine (Razi, Fârâbî, Bîrûnî, İbni Sina) and ancient authorities (Hippocrates, Dioscorides, Aretaeus, Galenos) were taught. These institutions had builders, rulers (sultan, melik) or mothers, wives, daughters, and sisters (the presence of female builders in these institutions attracted attention). During the Seljuk period, powerful viziers also built such institutions. These hospitals also provided free services which were considered as “charities” according to the Islamic religion. These institutions were financed by sources (shops, inns, Turkish baths, bridges, mills, vineyards, gardens, fields and annual taxes of many villages) that donated funds through the “foundation” method. Donations were made in the presence of the “kadi” (muslim judges) and many witnesses, with the written document “endowment.” These foundations were not touched by subsequent monarchs. Payment of fees, daily expenses of the physicians, assistant personel and repairing of buildings was done by the board of trustees. Twelve of these institutions are still in use for public interest (polyclinic, museum, health museum, library, university, and education center). When modern medical schools (1827) and hospitals (1842) began to be established as of the XIXth century, these historic buildings were allocated to mental patients, while some were devastated by neglect. However, in the Republic period, they have been restored and used for health and educational purposes.

Keywords : Historical hospital buildings, islamic physician training institutions, islamic foundations, medical history
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