International Guest of Honor 2019: Turkey

May 2019 – Vol. 38, No. 4

A history of The Turkish Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery Society

As President of the AAO-HNS/F, it is my distinctive honor and privilege to welcome the following two societies representing Turkey as one of the four countries that we honor this year. The AAO-HNSF’s Annual Meeting & OTO Experience provides a dynamic, interactive, and engaging forum for us to meet and unite with Turkey and other guest otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeons in delivering quality patient care.

— Albert L. Merati, MD
President, AAO-HNS/F

Civani Ananyan was sent to Paris in 1878, training in otolaryngology. Upon his return, he began teaching otolaryngology at Istanbul University as a faculty member. The first department of otorhinolaryngology was established in 1890, and Prof. Sefik Pasha was the first chair of the department. Many physicians began training as otorhinolaryngology specialists. The first otorhinolaryngological society was established on May 8, 1930, in Istanbul by five otorhinolaryngology professors; Prof. Ziya Nuri Pasha was elected as the first president. Some regular meetings were organized by the society, but World War II stopped these meetings. After the war, the first national otorhinolaryngological congress convened in Istanbul on October 5, 1951. In 1993, the 15th International Federation of Otorhinolaryngology Societies meeting was held in Istanbul with more than 5,500 participants. The Turkish Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery Society is affiliated with the European Union of Medical Specialists of Otorhinolaryngology (UEMS ORL) and IFOS.

Balkan ENT Society

With the Turkish ORL Head and Neck Surgery Society proposal, a few Balkan ORL meetings were held. However, due to World War II, the meetings could not be continued. In 2002, during a joint meeting of the National Panhellenic Conference and the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, the constitution of the Balkan Society of Otorhinolaryngology and Head-Neck Surgery was prepared by Eugene N. Myers, MD, Emmanuel Helidonis, MD, Metin Önerci, MD, and Todor Karchev, MD. In 2016, the international Balkan Society of Otorhinolaryngology and Head-Neck Surgery was officially established in Turkey by Prof. Önerci, and Edirne became the center of the society. Cem Uzun, MD, was elected as the secretary general. Meetings continue in Balkan countries each year.

Turkey and Central Asia

Turkey is also a member of a forum of Central Asian countries including Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kirghizia, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan with the purpose of coordinating education and training activities.

The Turkish Academy of Otorhinolaryngology was established as a division of the Turkish ORL Society with the collaboration of the Turkish Otorhinolaryngology Society and the Turkish Rhinology Society. It coordinates education and training activities all around Balkan and Central Asian countries that will contain a cadaver laboratory, a lecture and video archive, an electronic library, and the ability to provide distant education. The Turkish National Congress of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery is held every year in Turkey with international participation. The Balkan Society of Otorhinolaryngology and Head-Neck Surgery Board Meeting is held every year at the Turkish National Congress of Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery. Another extended meeting is held with the invited professors from Central Asian countries. The Board of the Turkish Otorhinolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery Society makes suggestions on residency reports and determines standards to uniform the education in Turkey.

Turkish Archives of Otorhinolaryngology are indexed in PubMed Central, the Web of Science Emerging Sources Citation Index, TUBITAK ULAKBIM TR Index, EBSCO, CINAHL, and ProQuest.

Since 2012, the postgraduate advanced courses and resident training programs of otorhinolaryngology head and neck surgery have been organized from Turkey and from other Balkan and Central Asian countries. Five postgraduate advanced courses of otorhinolaryngology have been organized to provide advanced sub-specialization, post-residency training for the following subspecialties: head and neck/thyroid surgery; otology and neurotology; rhinology, rhinoplasty, sleep disorders, allergies; laryngology and phoniatrics; and facial plastic surgery. Each school has 32 hours of theoretical lessons, cadaver dissections, visitations to one or more designated clinics as an observer for a minimum of one week or five work days, and video lectures (through the Society’s website). Each medical student is supposed to write a review about a certain topic and give a lecture. Attendees have included 450 specialists, 260 residents from Turkey and 60 from other countries. The scholarship programs in Europe and the U.S. began in 2013. Since 2013, 57 specialists have been sponsored by these programs.

The Turkish Otorhinolaryngological Head and Neck Surgery Society continues to advance. Starting with the Turkish Rhinological Society in 1995, the Society has come to have a total of more than 10 different related academic and research societies.