Country of Origin Information Report

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Pharmacies


25.08 The Middle East Expats Online Community Resources & Forums website last updated on 6 January 2006, recorded:
“Eczanes (Pharmacies) are open from 09:00 -19:00 on weekdays and Saturdays. They are closed on Sundays but there is always one, open 24 hours in each neighbourhood. Every pharmacy will have a display in its window (which is posted each evening, on Sunday, and on statutory and religious holidays) listing the name and location of the pohen pharmacy, or Nöbetçi Eczane.” [50]
25.09 The same website also recorded that “Private hospitals are preferred by patients of middle and upper classes. Despite the fact that state hospitals are sometimes better equipped than the some of private hospitals, many patients prefer going to a private hospital because of the personal and friendly care offered.
 Acibademköy – Istanbul. Website: http://www.acibadem.com.tr/English/

 Acibadem Hospital, Carousel, Istanbul - Website: http://www.acibadem.com.tr/English/

 Acibadem Hospital, Kadiköy - Website: http://www.acibadem.com.tr/English/

 Amiral Bristol American Hospital - Güzelbahçe Sokak, 20 Nişantaşı Istanbul.



 German Hospital, Sıraselviler Caddesi, 119 Taksim Istanbul.

State Hospitals – due to limited funding, Turkish state hospitals don’t have the best sanitary conditions. They are always full of patients and have endless queues. The lack of hygiene, lack of staff and lack of care is easily felt. Ironically however, they have some of the most well-known and respected doctors on staff, particularly at the university hospitals.” [50]

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HIV/AIDS – anti-retroviral treatment
25.10 The Turkish Ministry of Health (MoH) Country Report of January 2008, accessed via the UNAIDS website recorded that “Turkey is among low prevalence countries in Central Europe for HIV/AIDS. The first case of HIV infection was reported in 1985, and by the end of June 2007, a total of 2,711 cases had been identified. The rate of increase for the reported number of HIV/AIDS cases has been more over the last three years (about 300 reported new cases annually) and the estimated prevalence is 3,700 cases out of a population of over 70 million.” [39a] (p3)
25.11 In December 2001 the Foreign and Commonwealth Office contacted Hacetepe University, Ankara, which provides world-standard treatment for HIV and AIDS. The University confirmed that such drugs such as thyroxine, sequinavir, D4T, 3TC, acyclovir, zirtek, diflucon and metoclopramide, or their substitutes, are available in Turkey. [4a]
25.12 On the subject of funding for treatment, the Ministry of Health (MoH) Country Report of January 2008 recorded that “In Turkey PLHA [people living with HIV/AIDS] have same rights with other patients. The Government of Turkey provides with ART services including treatment for opportunistic infections. For PLHA not having any medical insurance, green card provides with ART treatment as for any other disease…In 2006, 685 PLHA have been taking ART. In 2007 it is estimated that around 800 PLHA have taken ART in Turkey.” [39a] (p11)
Cancer treatment

25.13 As recorded in the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) the Impact of Cancer for Turkey 2005 states that, “In 2005 cancer killed approximately 52,000 people in Turkey, 37,000 of these people were under the age of 70.” [37b]

25.14 The International Observatory on End of Life Care website, dated 2006, stated that:
“Turkey is an area where supportive care with hospice/ palliative care is linked to the development of other services, particularly within hospital based oncology units… There are no specialist palliative care services in Turkey. Medical oncology units and departments of algology (pain) at major hospitals in the country provide pain control and symptom relief. Oncologists and pain specialists in seven hospitals report actively working to establish the concepts of palliative care... The majority of cancer patients are treated in university hospitals that support units with pain specialists and medical oncologists… Some specialist cancer state hospitals such as the Dr Ahmet Andicen Oncology Hospital and Demetevler Oncology Hospital will provide pain relief and symptom management. No information, however, is currently available about the development of palliative care services in the state hospital system or the development of training in the 57 medical schools around the country. There are around 30 specialist ‘pain centres’ and 20 medical faculties with departments of algology in Turkey. There are no reported activities for paediatric palliative care.” [33] (Current palliative services)
25.15 The same website also noted that:

“Individual physicians (and their colleagues) have reported active involvement in developing the concepts of palliative care within departments and units in three main areas of the country; in Ankara, a pain specialist at Hacettepe University Hospital, three oncologists, one at Başkent University Hospital, one in the Gulhane Military Academy, (GATA) and one at Gazi University Hospital; in Istanbul, a pain specialist at the Istanbul University Medical Faculty and two oncologists at the Marmara University Medical Faculty; there is one pulmonary specialist developing concepts of palliative care at the Pamukkale University Medical School, Denizli. Medical and nursing professionals have also expressed interest in palliative care at Ankara University Faculty of Medicine.” [33] (Current palliative services)

25.16 The World Health Organisation (WHO) report on ‘Strengthening cervical cancer prevention in Europe’ of May 2007 noted:
“In Turkey, cancer of the cervix is the eighth leading cause of cancer in women and the age-standardized incidence rate is relatively low (4.5 per 100 000 women). There are several arguments against the introduction of HPV [Human papillomavirus] vaccines in Turkey …‘Guerrilla marketing’ of HPV vaccines gives the impression that their introduction is a high priority. In Turkey, however, introducing organized screening is considered much more important and more feasible at the moment. It is essential that WHO policies are country-based and take the different scenarios into account.” [37e] (p22)
Kidney dialysis
25.17 The Oxford Journal dated 2002 stated that “The majority of dialysis treatments in Turkey are carried out in centres belonging to the Ministry of Health and in private centres. In the last decade, private centres have played an important role in providing sufficient beds for haemodialysis patients.” [32] Some of the dialysis centres listed by The Middle East Expats Online Community Resources & Forums website are:
Kidney Health & Dialysis Hospital

Address: Osmaniye Mevkii E-5 Karayolu Üzeri, Bahçelievler, Istanbul


Elmalik Dialysis Center, Elmalik Köyü Elmalik, Ankara, 06490 Turkey
Alanya Hospital And Dialysis Center, Saray Mah.Yunus Emre Cad.No:1, Alanya, 07400 Turkey” [50]
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Tuberculosis (tb)

25.18 The World Health Organisation (WHO) states “Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious disease. Like the common cold, it spreads through the air. Only people who are sick with TB in their lungs are infectious. When infectious people cough, sneeze, talk or spit, they propel TB germs, known as bacilli, into the air. A person needs only to inhale a small number of these to be infected.” [37c] The WHO country profile 2006 provides key indicators, notification and treatment outcome data. See link attached. [37c]
http://www.who.int/globalatlas/predefinedreports/tb/PDF_Files/tur.pdf
25.19 A January 2008 article on Todayszamen.com reported:
“Although Turkey has long been committed to activities to counter tuberculosis and has achieved great success in the last few years in fighting against the disease, experts have said it continues to pose a threat to the society as hundreds of people contract tuberculosis each year. There has been a significant increase in the number of services to fight tuberculosis in the past two to three years, yet we cannot say that it will be eradicated in the short term, said Ali Rıza Erdoğan, the secretary-general of the Ankara-based Federation of National Associations of the Fight against Tuberculosis (TUVSDF) in a phone interview with Today’s Zaman.” [24]
25.20 The same 2008 Todayszamen article continued:

“TUVSDF Chairman Dr. Ferit Koçoğlu, in an interview with the Anatolia news agency, noted there are some 20,000 people with tuberculosis in Turkey, around 13,000 of whom are male patients. …Almost 88 out of every 100 cases of tuberculosis can be treated in Turkey because we have waged a successful fight against this disease. There are many volunteer doctors and nongovernmental organizations that battle tuberculosis. They continue their struggle against this ailment under unfavorable conditions,’ he noted… The [Directly Observed Treatment Short Course (DOTS)] project has made health officials accessible to 89 percent of all tuberculosis patients, with 85 percent of these patients being treated.” [24]

Deaf and Hearing Impaired
25.21 In a letter to the Country of Origin Information Service from the British Embassy in Ankara dated 27 March 2007 about services for children who are deaf or whose hearing is impaired, in the province of Izmir it was noted that:
“We are aware of at least one state-funded school for deaf children in the city of Izmir. This provides education from pre-school level up to 8th grade:
“Tülay Aktaş İşitme Engelliler İlköğretim Okulu

Mevlana Mahallesi, 373/2 Sokak

No:6/1, Bornova - IZMIR

Tel: 90 232 3397826

Fax: 90 232 3392537

Email: taktasio@ttnet.net.tr


“There is no secondary school for the deaf and hearing impaired in the province. At present children have the choice between being assisted to attend a normal secondary school or attending a specialist school in one of the neighbouring provinces in the Aegean region? Pre-school education is also available. We are aware of two state-funded specialist toddler groups in Izmir itself, in the Carsi and Konak districts. Provision is likely to be much more limited outside of the main towns, as in the UK.

To access these services a child’s parents must first submit documentation to the local Directorate of Education confirming that his or her hearing is impaired. A state hospital will usually be able to provide a suitable report.” [4n]

25.22 The International Deaf Children’s Society (IDCS) published an article in March 2004 by Mary C Essex who specifically looked at the Turkish special education system for the deaf people and it noted that:

“The Ministry of Education estimates having 58,351 students with disabilities in elementary, middle scholl and high school. This is well below the WHO estimate of people with disabilities.
Percentages of Disabilities in Turkey


Disability

Total

Percentage

Deaf

8,666

15%

Vision

1,555

3%

Physical

656

1%

Mental

44,970

77%

Autistic

419

.007%

Other

2,085

3%

Total

58,351

0.8%

There are four Deaf education teacher training programs in Turkey and these are located in the cities of:

 Bolu, Abant Izzet Baysal University

 Eskisehir, Anadolu University

 Samsun, Ondokus Mayis Universitesi

 Trabzon Karadeniz Teknik Universitesi


There are 47 elementary schools and 14 high schools for the Deaf throughout Turkey… The Ministry of Special Education has more information about the Deaf education curriculum and other information about their services available in Turkish.” [28]
Mental health
25.23 As recorded in the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Department of Mental Health and Substance Dependence Mental Health Atlas 2005 the country has disability benefits for persons with mental disorders. “After being approved by a mental health board as a chronic mental health patient, the patient can benefit from the social security services… Mental health is part of the primary health care system. Actual treatment of severe mental health is available at the primary level… Mental health in primary care is available in only some provinces… Regular training of primary care professional [sic] in the field of mental health is present and the approximate number of personnel trained over the last two years totalled 3,000.” [37a] (Section on Mental Health Financing)
25.24 The WHO Mental Health Atlas 2005 further states that there are 1.3 psychiatric beds per 10,000 population, one neurosurgeon, one neurologist, one psychologist and one social worker per 100,000 population. [37a] (Section on Mental Health Financing)

25.25 The Foreign and Commonwealth Office contacted Hacettepe University Hospital Psychiatric Department in April 2002 and confirmed that antipsychotic and antidepressant medication are available in Turkey. [4b]

25.26 The WHO Mental Health Atlas 2005 recorded that “The following therapeutic drugs are generally available at the primary health care level:

Carbamazepine,

Ethosuximide,

Phenobarbital,

Phenytoin

Sodium valproate,

Amitriptyline,

Chlorpromazine,

Diazepam,

Fluphenazine,

Haloperidol,

Lithium,

Biperiden,

Carbidopa, and



Levodopa.” [37a] (Section on Therapeutic Drugs)
25.27 The WHO Mental Health Atlas 2005 continued:
“The mental health department was established within the Ministry of Health in 1983 with the primary tasks of improving mental health services, development and dissemination of preventive mental health services, integration of mental health with primary care, community education and protection of the community from harmful behaviours. The means of achieving these aims were through determination of standards, training programmes, data collection, research, creation of counselling and guiding units, creation of psychiatric clinics in state hospitals, assigning proper tasks to personnel, developing rehabilitation facilities, carrying out public education through the help of media, educating the public on harmful behaviour, and taking care of those who succumb to those behaviours.” [37a] (Section on Other Information)

25.28 The US Department of State Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 2007 published 11 March 2008 noted that “The Ministry of Health operated eight mental health hospitals in seven different provinces. There were two private mental health hospitals in Istanbul. The government reported that it operated 45 boarding care centers and 22 daycare centers that provided services to physically and mentally challenged individuals.” [5g] (Section 5 – Persons with Disabilities)

25.29 A Mental Health Economics European Network (MHEEN) report of January 2008 recorded that there was virtually no social care or community care provisions for the mentally ill in Turkey. [22] (p9) It further added that: “although psychiatric care is almost entirely provided in nine psychiatric hospitals and there are virtually no social care homes or community-based services, there has also been a slight decrease from 4140 beds in 1990 to 3777 in 2004. … there are now some beds available in psychiatric wards in general hospitals but figures are difficult to obtain and the only data available are for 2003 when there were 1876 beds, and for 2004 when there were 2467 beds.” [22] (p8)
25.30 As noted in a report by the Mental Disability Rights International (MDRI) entitled ‘Behind Closed Doors: Human Rights Abuses in the Psychiatric Facilities, Orphanages and Rehabilitation Centers of Turkey’ (released on 28 September 2005):

“There is no enforceable law or due process in Turkey that protects against the arbitrary detention or forced treatment of institutionalized people with mental disabilities. There are virtually no community supports or services, and thus, no alternatives to institutions for people in need of support. As a result, thousands of people are detained illegally, many for a lifetime, with no hope of ever living in the community. Once inside the walls of an institution, people are at serious risk of abuse from dangerous treatment practices. In order to receive any form of assistance, people must often consent to whatever treatment an institution may have to offer. For people detained in the institution, there is no right to refuse treatment. The prison-like incarceration of Turkey’s most vulnerable citizens is dangerous and life-threatening.” [90]

25.31 The European Commission 2007 Progress report published 6 November 2007 acknowledged that, “Some progress can be reported in the area of mental health. Community-based services are not sufficiently developed as an alternative to institutionalisation, and resources (budget, staff, capacity, etc.) for mental health improvement are limited in relation to the needs. Preparations in this field are at an early stage. [71c] (p71) In the area of mental health, a government directive was issued to regulate the use of electro-convulsive therapy in hospitals in line with human and patients’ rights. Relevant guidelines for implementation of the directive have also been prepared.” [71c] (p20)
25.32 The US State Department Report USSD 2007 report published 11 March 2008 mentioned that “In February [2007] a public prosecutor opened an investigation into reports of abuse at the Ekrem Tok Mental Hospital in Adana. The Ministry of Health and Adana Provincial Health Directorate also began investigations. The investigations were opened after Star TV aired a program that showed patients at the hospital complaining about electro-shock treatment, beatings, and abuse. According to the program, patients were subject to beatings and violence for performing religious prayers, for not eating, or for not cleaning their plates after a meal. Hurriyet reported that a patient died of a drug overdose in the facility in August 2006. Police arrested two staff members, Huseyin Hatipogul and Nusret Er, for mistreating patients.” [5g] (Section 5 – Persons with Disabilities)
See also Section 21.01 Disability
Home health care

25.33 The International Observatory on End of Life Care website dated 2006 stated that:

“Home health care is a low-cost alternative to traditional inpatient care and an appealing alternative for developing countries such as Turkey, where financial resources for health care are particularly scarce. Availability is generally limited to the bigger cities such as Istanbul and Ankara. These benefits include keeping families together, keeping the elderly independent, preventing institutionalisation, promoting healing, allowing a maximum amount of freedom for the individual, involving the individual and family in the care that is delivered, reducing stress, improving the quality of life, and extending life.” [33]
General Overview of the Public Health Sector in Turkey in 2006 http://www.europarl.europa.eu/comparl/envi/pdf/expert_panels/public_health_panel/public_health_in_turkey_by_reig_and_valverde.pdf
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26 Freedom of movement


26.01 The US State Department Report (USSD) 2007 published 11 March 2008 noted that with regard to freedom of movement within the country, foreign travel, emigration and repatriation,:

“The law provides for freedom of movement within the country, foreign travel, emigration, and repatriation; however, at times the government limited these rights in practice. The law provides that a citizen’s freedom to leave the country could be restricted only in the case of a national emergency, civic obligations (e.g., military service), or criminal investigation or prosecution. The government maintained a heavy security presence in the southeast, including numerous roadway checkpoints.” [5g] (Section 2d)

26.02 The European Commission 2007 Progress report published 6 November 2007 on Turkey noted that “amendments to the Law on Police Duties and Authority in June 2007 authorise the law enforcement bodies to take fingerprints and pictures of persons applying for a drivers’ licence, passport or a gun licence. These data can be stored for up to 80 years. Turkey needs to align its legislation with the Data Protection Directive and, in that context, to set up a fully independent data-protection supervisory authority.” [71c] (p60)
26.03 A senior official in the Passport Office, Ministry of Interior, explained to the Immigration and Nationality Directorate’s (IND) fact-finding mission to Turkey in 2001 the passport issuing procedures in Turkey:
“All Turkish citizens are entitled to a passport. An applicant must apply in person; an application cannot be made through an agent. The application must be made in the local area where the applicant resides. The regional passport office makes checks to verify his or her identity. These checks include establishing whether the applicant has criminal convictions and/or is wanted by the authorities. The applicant is always asked why the passport is wanted.” [48] (p10)
26.04 An interlocutor advised the IND fact-finding mission that the issue of a passport would not be withheld if the applicant had not completed his military service; this is because there are provisions in law to defer military service. [48] (p11)

26.05 However, the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ ‘Turkey/military service’ report published in July 2001 records that “Persons of call-up age are not usually issued with passports, and cannot have passports renewed. In a small number of cases, and with the consent of the military authorities, a passport with a short period of validity is issued. The entry ‘yapmiştir’ (done) or ‘yapmamiştir’ (not done) in the passport indicates whether the holder has completed military service or not.” [2b] (p15)

26.06 The IND fact-finding mission was also told that there are four different types of passport:
Red (diplomatic) passports.

Grey (service) passports, issued to lower rank government officials who are being sent abroad for a short time on official duty.

Green (officials’) passports, issued to government officials, who have reached a certain level, the qualification for these passports is based on hierarchy and length of service in government, and

Blue passport, issued to ordinary citizens. [48] (p10)


26.07 The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada reported in April 2005 that:
“The regulations concerning entry into and exit from Turkey of Turkish and non-Turkish nationals fall under the Turkish Passport Law Number 5682, which stipulates that all travellers, whether Turkish or not, require a valid passport or travel document whenever they leave or enter Turkey… Turkish citizens who do not have a valid passport or travel document are still entitled to enter Turkey if they show their Turkish identity card (Nüfus Cüzdani), or another valid identity card, to border authorities…” [7d] 
26.08 The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada reported, in October 2004, in ‘Turkey: Whether a Turkish citizen who is the subject of an arrest warrant can obtain a passport legitimately or through bribery or any other fraudulent means’ that:

“If a Turkish citizen is the subject of an arrest warrant, he or she must resolve any outstanding legal cases with the justice system before he or she will be given a passport. If the applicant for a Turkish passport submits his or her application at a Turkish consulate outside Turkey, the consular authorities will need to see the applicant’s old passport, or they will require a letter from the local police to account for the passport if it is missing… Regarding the acquisition of a Turkish passport through bribery or any other fraudulent means by an individual who has an arrest warrant against him or her, during the period February 2001 through August 2004, there were various reports of persons who were in possession of fraudulent Turkish passports when they were arrested by Turkish authorities.” [7l]


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