Turkish Culture Made by Zahra Rasul

Republic of Turkey

Major health Concepts

Believe in cause of illness
  • Turkish people believe in natural and supernatural causes. While belief in natural causes are more common, belief in supernatural causes still persists despite modernizing and acculturative influences.
  • Some Turks believe that natural causes like, stress, infection, and organic deterioration. whereas, some Turks believe that illness occurs due to supernatural things like fate, mystical retribution, and magical causation.
  • Early studies of predominantly rural Turkish populations reported adherence to traditional beliefs and the use of magico-religious therapeutic practices, which was traditional beliefs influenced by Islam, including fatalistic beliefs ('God's will'), specific beliefs regarding harm caused through possession by spiritual beings (jinns) described in the Qur'an, retribution for transgression of religious taboos, and failure to take precautions against jinns.
  • The 'evil eye', in which there was widespread belief, was associated with psychological and physical illness as well as failures in life and personality problems.
  • Sorcery was associated with conditions such as inability to concentrate, physical weakness, agitation, headaches, confusion and emotional distress.
Types of traditional healers utilized
  • Healers such as a hoca — one of several in a village of fewer than 7,000 people — a term given to local healers and advisers practicing a syncretic combination of Islam and folk tradition. Although, he is not affiliated with a mosque.
  • non-religious healer is called a falcılar— a fortune teller, operate outside an Islamic context and claim no religious authority, which often allows them to skirt controversy.
Method of treatment
  • The traditional Turkish folk medicine has a history of thousands years, old-traditional healing practices continued to be applied and mixed with modern medicine.
  • Turkey's traditional folk remedies for common ailments include a number of simple, everyday herbs and fruits that are widely known for their healing properties. They are natural remedies found in open markets, bazaars and aktars (spice shops)
  • .Ministry of Culture and Tourism website include placing lemon slices on the forehead for a headache, rubbing a mashed onion on a sprained ankle, eating a pigeon egg for breakfast for 40 days for asthma, eating hedgehog meat for eczema, taking a bath in barley for rheumatism, dribbling leek water in the ear for an earache or burning an eggshell and breathing in its ashes for a nosebleed and yogurt is also rubbed on light sunburns as a soothing cream.e.t.c
  • Modern method of treatment is usually in hospitals.
  • Modern treatments & traditional both.
Response to pain
  • Turkish people require a person to accompany them while visiting the doctor, particularly women attend with their fathers / husbands / brothers. Basically they need a male to accompany them.
  • The verbalise pain like saying "..."
Believe & practices surrounding birth
  • The gender of expected child is importance to Turks. It is believed that if the mother eats sweet food, she will have a boy, but if she prefers spicy or sour dishes, she will give birth to a girl. There are several customs and even superstitions to be observed during pregnancy. The woman should avoid looking at such animals as monkeys and camels; she should not attend a funeral or look at a corpse.
  • Women often announce their pregnancy with their clothing or the lace ornaments of their scarf. The mother in law is supposed to give the future mother a gold bracelet.
  • In cities, birth is given in a hospital, but in rural areas many women still have their babies at home with the assistance of a midwife. There are several rituals to be observed, for instance: unfastening the woman's hair, opening locked doors and windows and...feeding birds! There are many more, but the majority are just dictated by common sense.
  • Once the baby is born, special attention is paid to the umbilical cord and the placenta. The placenta isn't just thrown away; it's wrapped in a clean cloth and buried in a clean place. The umbilical cord is cut and either thrown into the courtyard of a mosque to make the baby a devout person or else deposited in a place which might favorably relate to the child's future.
  • Mother and child are given presents, gold bracelets for the mother and gold coins with either a blue or a pink bow attached for the baby. Many also plant a tree, an apple tree for a girl and a pine tree for a boy.
  • For 40 days after giving birth, neither mother nor child is allowed to leave the house. This 40 day period is a tradition which is taken very seriously. It is believed, that for 40 days, mother and child are vulnerable to mother or baby snatchers in the form of evil spirits and that illness or misfortune might befall them.


Believe & practices surrounding death
  • The person who has died has to be buried as soon as possible and during daylight. If the death occurs at night, internment has to take place early the next day.
  • The body is ceremoniously washed by professional washers. This is based on the Islamic belief that a person who has died and has not been properly cleaned will not be allowed to enter paradise.
  • Process: The corpse is then laid out with the big toes tied together, arms by the side, eyelids closed and facing Mecca. The body is wrapped in a clean white shroud and placed in a coffin. The coffin, which is covered by a green cloth, is carried to the mosque on the shoulders of family, friends and neighbors. The bearers rush from the back of the cortege to the front to be able to touch and carry the coffin as often as possible, which is a sign of respect. A path is cleared and nobody is allowed to stand or cross in front of the coffin. Once at the mosque, the coffin is placed on a table outside and the appropriate prayers are said. The body is buried in a grave wrapped in the shroud only, with the coffin discarded. It is placed on its right side, again facing Mecca.
  • Tombstones have a long tradition in Turkey. They are often pieces of art and bear witness to history as well as being inscribed with poetry and the life story of the deceased.
Healthcare beliefs
  • very complex health care system because of the existence of different plans and departments involved. All health care and related social welfare activities are coordinated by the Ministry of Health.
  • Article 60 of the Turkish Constitution quotes: "Every individual is entitled to social security. The State takes the necessary measures to create this confidence and organizes the organization".
  • Ministry is responsible to provide health care for the people and organize preventive health services, build and operate state hospitals, supervise private hospitals, train medical personnel, regulate the price medical drugs nationwide, control drug production and all pharmacies.
  • Private health insurance is well developed in Turkey. Many people pay their premium to private companies besides their regular contribution to state insurance systems, in order to get a better quality health service if they're ill. Also private pension funds (known as BES) have been started some years ago and growing very fast. These private funds are usually private banks or big insurance companies that offer this service. Depending on the pension plan chosen, after 10 - 15 - 20 years one can get an accumulated bonus when retired from these private funds or get monthly pension until death.
Special symbols, books & religious practices


References used
  1. http://america.aljazeera.com/multimedia/2014/11/turkey-hocas-fortunetelling.html
  2. https://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-244X-7-34
  3. http://www.brighthubeducation.com/social-studies-help/15601-birth-and-death-traditions-in-turkey/
  4. https://www.dailysabah.com/expat-corner/2015/04/04/your-guide-to-turkish-old-wives-folk-remedies
  5. http://turkishstudies.net/Makaleler/839617071_1_ugurluserdar_t.pdf


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