The History of the Foundation

Dr. Şahap Erkoç 
Translated into English by: Dr. Nergis Aküzüm 

 The idea of founding Ottoman Society of Neurological and Mental Medicine, currently working under the name of Turkish Neuropsychiatric Society, was first mentioned in a meeting of neuropsychiatrists, gathered by the invitation of Dr. Avni Mahmud, the Dean of Topbasi Mental Hospital, in 1914. The Society was legally established in 1918, took the name “Ottoman Society of Mental and Neurological Medicine”. After legalization of the establishment, Mazhar Osman elected as the president of the society, in the first meeting.

            The Society, took the name “Turkish Society of Mental and Neurological Medicine” after the foundation of the Turkish Republic (1923), and later, the name of the Society was changed to “Turkish Neuropsychiatric Society”.

            Mazhar Osman worked as the president of Society until 1951. The meetings were held quite regularly, in the last friday of every month.

            The records mentioning the establishment of the society, was published as a serial articles, in the official Publication of TNS, Acta Neuropsychiatrica (Turkish), between the years 1952 and 1961, written by Dr. Kazim Dagyolu. Dr. Ozcan Koknel stated that these records were transcripted by a patient, undergoing treatment for alcohol dependence in the ward, and Dr Kazim Dagyolu published this text after editing it. These records contain very important information about the foundation processes of the Society.

            The records were held and preserved by Ahmet Sukru Emed. While transcripting, some phrases, which are in French, conserved, and no any simplifications were made. The language of the records is quite hard to understand and consists of many Arabic words. Here are the records of the first nine meetings of the society.

1st.Meeting (October 16th, 1914)

12 people, names mentioned below, gathered by the invitation of Avni Mahmud in order to found a Society in the name of Mental Medicine:

  • Rasit Tahsin- Professor of Mental Disesases, Medical Faculty, and member of Society of Ottoman Medicine.
  • Mazhar Osman- Dean of The Haseki Observation Hospital, and Specialist Doctor from The Haydarpasa Hospital
  • Vasfi Bey- Medical Ethics Department of Medical Faculty
  • Galip Ata -Haseki Hospital, Neurological Diseases Specialist
  • Zilinakis -Greek İpetelyas Mental Hospital Specialist
  • Avni - Dean of Toptasi Mental Hospital
  • Ali Muhlis Bey- Ass. Dean of Toptasi Mental Hospital
  • Niyazi Bey- Doctor of Toptasi Mental Hospital
  • Tahir Bey- Ass. Dean of Toptasi Mental Hospital
  • Suayip Bey- Gumussuyu Hospital doctor and Mental Diseases Specialist.
  • Nuri Bekir Bey- Darrussafaka Specialist on Neurological Diseases

The discussions on the appropriate names for the society held in this meeting. Names mentioned were; Mental Medicine, Mental and Neurological Medicine, Mental And Neurological Diseases.
Mr. Avni Mahmud was elected as the president, Rasit Tahsin as the 2nd. President and Ali Muhlis as the Secretary General of the Society.

2nd. Meeting (November 20th, 1914)

The Organizational Statues and membership issues were discussed in this meeting, in the chairmanship of Mr. Ali Muhlis. Organizational Statues consist of four parts, which follows;

  • The aim of the society
  • The establishment of the society, times of meetings and the duties
  • Constitution of the Executive Comittee and its duties
  • Financial structure of the Society.

3rd Meeting (May 18th, 1918)

14 people met, and the chairman was Avni Mahmud. Mazhar Osman elected as the president, Mustafa Hayrullah as the vice president of the executive committee.

4th. Meeting ( June 27th, 1918 )

An argument took place while discussing about the Organizational Statues, and Rasit Tahsin, who approved Mazhar Osman’s presidency in the former meeting, raised an objection against Mazhar Osman and proposed Avni Mahmut to be the president. But this proposal was denied and Rasit Tahsin left the meeting. 
( Rasit Tahsin established another society, named “Society of Mental Medicine” in 1918, which last until 1926. )

In the 5th through 9th meetings, members discussed about the problems of the society and several case reports were presented.