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Descriptions of hospitals    EN


There are records in mid-19th century that there was a doctor in Samsun castle situated in Samsun city centre. The doctor who was in charge of the health of 192 soldiers was the only health officer appointed by the state in the castle which survived until the big fire in 1869 in Samsun. Even after the demolishing the castle, the military unit of the castle carried on existing as artillery unit and therefore the castle doctor Recep Efendi remained in the state records until 1886[1]. Moreover, it seems that there were more doctors who used their houses as medical offices according to the records of Samsun Judicial Court Registers. For instance, Kabasakal Hekim Cozebe was one of these men who served the public as we see from the Ottoman Judicial Court Registers.[2] Besides, domestic and foreign doctors were regularly recorded in Samsun, at the Annuaire Oriental. after 1880[3].

After the fire in 1869, while the reconstruction of the city was being planned, a hospital with 30 rooms for 20 men and for 10 women was formed. It was also reported that sick people were suffering at the corners of the streets and dying in agony because of the absence of any medical treatment in 1870[4]. It thus could be maintained that foreign merchants in Samsun took their precautions as a matter of health with employing doctors from their own country. However, a few years later a archives reveal that in 1874 there existed a Greek doctor who treated the Greek merchants in Samsun[5]. The hospital which was planned in 1870 to serve the public was constructed with four rooms and two stores with the support of city Municipality in 1886. But this hospital was poorly administered and suffered from lack of officials and lack of proper health services. It was reported that this hospital built around Quarantine building was too inadequate to respond to the needs of increasing population[6]. A new hospital building to cover the needs of the increasing population and the city was needed. The construction started by the Canik governor, Hamdi (Simavi) Bey. It was noted that wealthy of the town whose prosperity was owned to tobacco production and trade financed the construction of the hospital. The building was to become 865 square meters large and to be situated on a land of 15,000 square meters. the land was purchased by Jakop Bey and the remaining land was used as hospital garden. The plans of the building of the hospital were drawn by Mösyö Valeri. The structure of the building which would take the name Canik Hamidiye Hospital started to be built in 1880s and was finished in 1902. A survey in 1902, provides evidence that the construction of the hospital created a new settlement area in Samsun’s vicinity called Hastanebashi[7]. The ground floor of the hospital was used for epidemic disease diagnosis and for the light patients. In a sense, it was used as Emergency Service. The first floor of the hospital had 2 halls with 14 beds, 13 more rooms and 3 baths. The second floor had two halls with 14 beds, 3 baths and 14 private rooms. The third floor in front of the hospital entrance was for private patients who paid extra. There were 2 halls, one with 6 beds and another with 4 beds, 6 private rooms and a bath at the third floor. [8] The interior decoration and medical supplies of Canik Hamidiye Hospital were equipped with the support of Nemlizade Hamdi Bey who donated 800 golden coins. French hospital rules and medical treatments took place in hospital due to French doctor Mösyö Latour[9]. It can be said that this hospital was the result of the developing commercial activities of the city. It followed a similar path of what happened also to Trabzon; it was first constructed as a building for military use and then a public hospital.[10]

Canik Hamidiye Hospital was converted to Canik Gureba (orphan) Hospital by changing its name and management in the administration of İttihat Terakki (The committee of progress and union) in 1909. This hospital started to serve as a military hospital after 1909[11]. For the first time, in addition to Ottoman Government Agencies, a hospital was opened with the permission of Ottoman Health Ministry for the employees of the tobacco factories and for the tradesmen who were in the city due to commercial activities in 1880[12]. Advertisements in Greek and Ottoman at the local newspapers indicated that there was another hospital, the Antoniadis Hospital which functioned even in 1909[13]. Many domestic and foreign pharmacies worked in Samsun that served the permanent and passing population. Local newspapers reveal that drugs could be provided from these pharmacies at the city center. After all, the city was an important port and the increasing foreign and local population needed to be served.


[1] Mehmet Yavuz ERLER, “XIX. Yüzyıl Osmanlı Karadeniz Sahil Kalelerinin Yöre Sosyo-Ekonomik Yapısına Olan Katkıları”, International Committee of Pre-Ottoman and Ottoman Studies (CIEPO), Trabzon 2011, p.781.

[2] Osman Keskiner, 1763 no’lu Samsun Şeriye Sicil Defteri, M.A. Thesis in Ondokuz Mayıs University, Samsun 1991, p. 927.

[3] Annuaire Oriental, 1880, p.730.

[4] Mehmet Yavuz Erler, “Karadenizde Avrupai Bir Kent: Samsun (1865-1875)”, Karadeniz Tarihi Sempozyumu, Karadeniz Teknik Üniversitesi Yayınları, Vol.I, Trabzon 2007, p. 568.

[5] Baki Sarısakal, Samsun Saghlik Tarihi, Barısh Gazetesi Yayınları, Samsun 2005, p.3.

[6] Aks- Seda, 11 Nisan 1914, p. 3.

[7] Selahattin Ozyurt&Mehmet Yavuz Erler, “Samsun İnas Mektebi (Kız Çocuklarına Ait İlkokul) Kayıt Defteri Açısından Osmanlı Samsununun Demografik Panaroması (1918-1925)”, Samsun Sempozyumu, 13-16 Ekim 2011, Cilt. 1, Ceylan Ofset, Samsun 2012, p. 635-676.

[8] Trabzon Vilayet Salnamesi, 1903, s.154-155.

[9] Trabzon Vilayet Salnamesi, 1905, s.392.

[10] Musa Şaşmaz, Trade Reports of the Trebizond Province on British Documents (1830-1914), Vol. II, Türk Tarih Kurumu, Ankara 2014, p. 856

[11] Aks-ı Sada, 11 Ağustos 1325, sayı. 108, s.2.

[12] Aks- Seda, 16 Teşrin-i Evvel 1326, sayı.274, s.4.

[13] Baki Sarısakal, Samsun Saghlık Tarihi, Barısh Gazetesi Yayınları, Samsun 2005, p.39.