SOLIDARITY TO OUR COLLEGUES IN UKRAINE. The Black Sea project is a project of communication, academic dialogue and scientific exchange, to bring
scholars together beyond borders: Ukrainians, Russians, Greeks, Turks, Georgians, Bulgarians, Romanians, Moldavians.
There is no East and West. There is ONE WORLD. Let the War END
Javascript must be enabled to continue!


Quarantines, hospitals    EN


The system of quarantine stations, known as Sanitá, was developed in the Western Mediterranean by the maritime Empires such as the Venetian, in order to try to combat plague and other epidemics brought by ships and it was a common method used by all European states and Empires. In the Ottoman Empire, cordon method was generally used to fight epidemic diseases and tahaffuzhane (quarantine stations) were built. Cordon method is another kind of quarantine. The aim was to prevent the spread of the epidemic diseases to other places and to terminate these diseases in the places they originated. This method was performed as blockading the neighborhood where the disease was seen or where there was a suspect of the disease and keeping it under control for ten days in general [1].

There was a quarantine area and a tahaffuzhane in the north of the central town. Tahaffuzhane worked as follows: for the control and hygiene of the people, goods and things that came to the city by way of sea, ships were made to wait 1 mile off the land. A doctor, tahaffuzhane director and a register officer went to the ship in a boat and they recorded the sick people. If contagious diseases were found, the patients were carried to separate boats and they were made to bathe in places different from the other passengers and they were taken in patient rooms called detention rooms. The people in the quarantines were given towels, waistcloth and sabots for bath and their belongings were taken to sterilization boilers of the tahaffuzhane on a rail system. Their clothes were taken out, filled in filets and cleaned with steam in sterilization unit. After the bath, the doctor examined each patient and they were allowed to get out if no disease was found. If there was a patient in the ship, that patient would be hosted until he recovered or died and the other patients would be monitored [2].

In the quarantine station that was referred to as tahaffuzhane in the yearbooks, generally a total of 15 people worked. These were a harbor master, a doctor, a clerk, a disinfection machine mechanic, a vaporization machine mechanic, a quarantine officer, a Turkish clerk, a French clerk, an agency officer, agency of azizia administration, two guardians and one sernigehbân (chief watchman) [3]. In the 19th century, non-Muslims were also known to have worked as quarantine officers. One of these in Sinop was Emil Martin [4].

In the Ottoman Empire, the cities which had a high risk of contagious diseases regularly got assistance with chemical and medical equipment because of the lack of doctors and the quarantines were regularly used. Quarantine stations in smaller port cities served when there big cities such as İstanbul were not enough. An operation about a plague in İstanbul was made in Sinop quarantine station [5]. Similarly, a ship which was suspicious for cholera was quarantined in Sinop during the years of Balkan War. While the passengers were being monitored, hunting and selling sea food was banned. The seafood caught during this period was poured back in the sea close to the quarantine station. Archives show that a cholera case was seen in Sinop between the years 1891-1893; however, no quarantine was put into effect [6]. The demand of Administration of Public Debts was effective in this decision. A report was prepared which stated that there was no need to ban hunting by Sinop quarantine and inspection [7].

Hospitals of Sinop developed according to the diseases seen in Sinop. Seasonal diseases were common in Sinop as well as ordinary diseases. The most common and most serious of these diseases were syphilis, malaria, tuberculosis, smallpox and diphtheria [8].

The hospital of Sinop, which was built as a wooden building on a high location in the North West of the city, was built in 1887 during the period of Kastamonu Governor Abdurrahman Pasha. The hospital was administered in an undistinguished way until 1899. After 1899, it was renovated and its conditions were improved especially to fight syphilis. The hospital had seven wards-five for men and two for women-, an operation hall which was in a quite good condition, a bacteriology laboratory and a clinic [9].

1 doctor, 1 chemist and 1 director worked in the hospital and it was called as the Hospital for the Syphilis and the Poor. Documents show that a doctor and a chemist worked also in the municipality, prison, military unit, quarantine station, castle gunner organization. Yearbooks state that the construction of another hospital was intended; however, its construction was not finished [10].


[1] Abdulkadir GÜL, “XIX. Yüzyılda Erzincan Kazasında Salgın Hastalıklar (Kolera, Frengi, Çiçek ve Kızamık)”, Ankara Üniversitesi Türkiyat Araştırmaları Enstitüsü Dergisi, 41 (2009), Erzurum, ss. 239-270.

[2] Mesut AYAR, “1900 İzmir ve 1901 İstanbul Salgınları Bağlamında Vebanın XX. Yüzyıl Başlarında Osmanlı İmparatorluğu’nda Devam Eden Etkisi”, History Studies, 2/2 (2010), ss. 173-188.

[3] Ahmet Cengiz, “Salnamelerde Sinop”, I. Uluslararası Karadeniz Kültür Kongresi 06-09 Ekim 2011, Sinop, Türkiye, pp. 175-176.

[4] Kamil Şahin, “XIX. Yüzyılın Sonlarında Kastamonu’da Hastaneler”, II. Kastamonu Kültür Sempozyumu Bildirileri, 18-20 Eylül 2003, (Ankara: 2005), s. 123.

[5] BOA, Fon Kodu: DH.MKT., Dosya No: 2366, Gömlek No: 25, 29/S /1318 (Hicrî)-28.06.1900.

[6] BOA, Fon Kodu: Y..A...HUS., Dosya No: 284, Gömlek No: 108, 14/Ca/1311 (Hicrî)-23.12.1893.

[7] Güler Yarcı, “Osmanlıda Avcılık Yasaları”, Acta Turcica Çevrimiçi Tematik Türkoloji Dergisi, Yıl: 1, Sayı: 1, Ocak 2009, “Türk Kültüründe Av”, Editörler: Emine Gürsoy Naskali, Hilal Oytun Altun, ss. 123-152.

[8] Mehmed Said, Türkiye’nin Sıhhi-i İçtimai Coğrafyası: Sinob Sancağı, Ankara, H. 1338 (1922), pp. 57, 61.

[9] Ibid, Mehmed Said, pp. 43-44.

[10] Ibid, Ahmet Cengiz, p. 173.