New History of Medicine Studies / Yeni Tip Tarihi Arastirmalari, vol.11, pp.435-464, 2005 (Refereed Journals of Other Institutions)
The portrait of an elite, during the transformation from the Ottoman Empire to the Turkish Republic (1861-1940)
Having spent the first half of his lifetime during declining years of the Ottoman Empire and the other half, at the first reformative decades of the Turkish Republic, Besim Ömer Akalın, M.D. exemplifies very well of a new urban elite at the turn of the 20th century, regarding his education, formation, professional and administrative duties. He is known of his main contributions and remarkable services in obstetrics, in pediatrics; and also of his fundamental works for the edu-cation of midwifery and nursing in Turkey.
He carried out several duties at the same time such as professor at the Istanbul Medical Scho-ol (Mekteb-i Tıbbiye-i Şahane - Darülfünun Tıp Fakültesi), head of first Obstetrical clinic (Vila-dethane) in Turkey, leader of several associations such as the Red Crescent Society (Hilal-i Ah-mer Cemiyeti), the Society for the Protection of Children (Himaye-i Etfal Cemiyeti), Anti-Tuberculosis Society (Verem Savaş Derneği), member of several commissions with regards to the pub-lic sanitation and health affairs, rector of the Istanbul University, Turkish delegate of the international medical congresses and associations, member of Parliament, and the author of numerous books, yearbooks and articles on the above-mentioned topics. He is also famous for his initiative supporting women to study at the university and also to work at the social arena.
This study deals with his activities and works on the basis of his biography studied on archival and bibliographical sources. The list of his complete works is annexed to the text.
Key words: Ottoman Empire, Turkey, medical elites, Dr. Besim Ömer