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The Struggle with Contagious Diseases In Turkey in The Early Republican Period (1923-1930)
When the Republic of Turkey was established, epidemics were almost running rampant in Anatolia, which had been ruined due to long and tiresome wars. In this great misery, Anatolian people did not have hospitals or medications. With the proclamation of the Republic, a particular importance was given to public health services. Between the years of 1923 and 1930, which can be called the Early Republican Period, all the efforts in the field of health were made for struggle with epidemics. The most encountered diseases inflicting people in this period were malaria, syphilis, variola, scarlet fever, trachoma, diphtheria, and tuberculosis. Syphilis was mostly observed in the central and northern parts of the country, trachoma in the South, and malaria all around. Committees were established to struggle with epidemics in the 1923-1930 period. Medications, vaccines, serum, and physicians were sent according to the reports of epidemics received from provinces. The production of vaccines, which were a critical part of this struggle, was carried out by the state. Medications which could not be produced in Turkey were imported from abroad. In 1930, based on the experiences gained from the field works, the Public Health Law was enacted. With this law, the struggle with contagious and epidemic diseases gained a legal ground. Drawing on archival documents, newspapers, books, and reviews, the current study addresses the struggle made with epidemics observed in the 1923-1930 period in Turkey.

Syphilis, Trachoma, Variola, Scarlet Fever, Tuberculosis

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