Turkey (Anatolia) is located in the northern half of the hemisphere between the Black Sea the Aegean and the Mediterranean Seas. The Republic of Turkey was founded in 1923 by Atatürk and in 2003; the estimated population was over 70 million people.
Because of its geographical location, the mainland of Anatolia has always been of military and strategic importance in the region, and it is the birthplace of many great civilizations. It has also been a prominent center of commerce because of its land connections to two continents (Asia & Europe) and because of the seas surrounding it.
In modern history, the U.S. Commerce Department designated Turkey as one of the world’s ten “Big Emerging Markets” and in 1999 Turkey was formally designated as a candidate for full membership of the European Union. Currently, the Government of Turkey is engaged in harmonizing its legislation and institutional basis to match EU standards and requirements. Turkey a country rich in its own national culture, but it is also open to the heritage of other world civilizations and in tune with the developments of the modern technological age.
Within Turkey, nearly 100,000 doctors take care of patients in 52 university hospitals and numerous state hospitals. Hacettepe University Department of Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine Unit is the largest CF clinic in Turkey. A team of professionals including pediatric and adult pulmonologists, experienced nurses, chest physiotherapists, pediatric gastroenterologists, psychiatrists, dietitians and social workers treats the patients. This team works in close collaboration with molecular biology and microbiology laboratories. Team members conduct research and their findings have been published in national and international journals. In addition, this CF team attends the ECFS Conference every year to present their studies. Physicians working in this clinic have been trained in CF care in CF clinics in the USA. Two such doctors received the CFW scholarships.
Patients from the surrounding cities visit the outpatient clinic everyday of the week and this facility also provides in-patient care for those who need hospitalization for acute episodes. Some patients receive home intravenous treatment and gastrostomy feeding has been performed with success. This center regularly performs pulmonary function tests and some patients undergo flexible bronchoscopy. While nebulized Tobramycin solution (TOBI) has yet to be licensed in Turkey, patients do have access to other CF medications. In most cases, government support provides medical care and medications. However, surgeons in Turkey are not as yet performing lung transplantation. In addition to this center at Hacettepe, some patients receive care at CF centers at the Marmara University in Istanbul and Ege University in Izmir.
In our clinic, patients’ ages range from 1 month to 30 years with 20 patients over the age of 16. However, while the estimated number of CF patients in Turkey is about 1000, many patients are not registered at a CF center. Prenatal diagnosis can be performed if the mutation of the sibling is known. European CF laboratories assist in detecting other mutations in the remainder of patients undergoing prenatal diagnosis.
In 1995, doctors working in Hacettepe University in Ankara founded the Childhood Respiratory Diseases and CF Association (Web site: www.kistikfibrozis.com, (Turkish language only), e-mail: hapkf @ hacettepe.edu.tr). The president of the association is Professor Ayhan Gocmen and there are 80 members. The association informs patients, families and physicians about CF by organizing meetings and by publishing books both for physicians and patients. Three national congresses about CF have been organized in Ankara and the European CF Congress will be held in Antalya, Turkey in 2007.
Some Interesting Facts about TURKEY:
• The words "Veni, vidi, vici (I came, I saw,
I conquered)" were said by Julius Caesar when he went to Anatolia
in 47 BC.
• Tulips are not native to Holland. They were actually introduced from Anatolia in the 16th century.
• The Ottoman Navy brought the Jewish people who were expelled from Spain to safety in the Ottoman lands in 1492.
• Christianity first bloomed in Anatolia with the first church of Christianity dedicated to St. Peter in Antioch.
• Early Christians fleeing from Roman persecution found refuge in Cappadocia's underground cities.
• Mount Ararat, the highest mountain in Turkey, is believed to be the place where Noah's Ark landed.
• St. Nicholas - today's Santa Claus, was born in Patara (next to Kalkan) and lived as the bishop of Myra in Demre (also near Kalkan).
• Followers of Jesus were first called "Christians" in today's Antakya.
• Two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World stood in Anatolia - the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus.
• The first human ever to attempt to fly was Turkish; he tried this during the 7th century.
• Due to its varied landscape and climate, Turkey is one of the richest countries in the world in the number of species of flowers, with approximately 9,000 species of which 3,000 are native. In the whole of Europe, there are only 11,500 species
• Turkey is the only secular Muslim country in the Mediterranean region
• Turkey is a young country in more ways than one: over two-thirds of the Turkish population is under the age of thirty.
• Turkey is one of the few agriculturally self-sufficient countries in the world.
• The first coins ever to be used were coins made of electrum (an alloy of gold and silver) were used by the Lydians in 640 BC Turkey
Editor’s Note: For tourist and cultural information about Turkey, check this website: http://www.kultur.gov.tr