Prof. İbrahim Öztek: "March 14 is the first torch of our War of Independence"
Anadolu Aydınlar Ocağı General President and Üsküdar University Instructor Prof. İbrahim Öztek said, “March 14 is not only the 'Medicine Day' in Türkiye, but also the anniversary of the medical students' opposition to the invading imperialist powers.
Üsküdar University Instructor Prof. İbrahim Öztek made his remarks on the struggle of the medical students during the occupation years within the framework of the March 14 Medicine Day and said "The dominant powers begored the world, especially our geography, for four years in order to bury the Ottoman Empire in history, to destroy the Turks and to take away their values. Unfortunately, the so-called invincible navy, which we buried in the waters of the Bosporus in Çanakkale, anchored in front of Istanbul on November 3, 1918. The four corners of the country were grieving under occupation. The occupation forces had taken the Military Medical School in Istanbul as their headquarters (known as Haydarpaşa High School).
On March 14, 1919, an event occurred that terrified the enemies. Hikmet from the Military Medical School and his friends hung a giant Turkish flag that could be seen from all over Istanbul, between the two towers of the medical school at the Occupation Force headquarters. What a great patriotism, what a great example of heroism. Istanbul woke up with the torches of its independence that morning, its people were delighted and thus, the first torch of our liberation war was lit. This flame will not go out forever. It was the first March 14 Medicine Day celebration planned in our country that day. With this event, the practitioners of Medicine started the liberation struggle against the occupation and imperialism. Apart from being the 'Medical Day' in Türkiye on March 14, at the same time, it is also the anniversary of the medical practitioners’ opposition to the invading imperialist powers."
Öztek continued his statements as follows; "Now, let's go back a little further and reach the real March 14. Sultan Mahmud II founded the Tıphane-i Amire and Cerrahhane-i Amire on March 14, 1827 to train physicians in the modern sense for the newly formed Asakir-i Mansure-i Muhammediye army. When it was moved to Galatasaray in Istanbul, it was named as Mektebi Tıbbiye-i Adliye-i Şahane.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mahmud II said, "I organized these high-rise buildings as a medical school and named it Mektebi Tıbbiyei Adliyei Şahane. Since it will work here for the service of human health, I kept this school superior to others. Since Turkish medical books are written in Arabic and contain old information, education will be in French and within the framework of innovations in medicine. Later, you will spread this knowledge on the Turkish language. I am not contented with the fact that many unknown people as foreigners and physicians have settled in our country and acted as charlatans here and there. By Allah's permission, you will reach high ranks after you get your diploma and you will reach high ranks and I would like to say that all kinds of your needs will be met. There is everything from hot kebabs to cold strawberries in your meals. I will also send your achievement rings that I had especially made for you this week. I wish you success from Almighty Allah. It is for you to ask, it is for us to give.”.
We see how great the importance the Sultan gave to Medicine and Medicine practitioners 196 years ago. Modern Turkish medicine has trained many doctors around the world, from Ibn Sina to Aziz Sancar. After that, it is up to us to raise the likes of them. Happy March 14 Medicine Day."
Üsküdar News Agency (ÜNA)