ISSN: 0041-4255
e-ISSN: 2791-6472

Zekeriya Türkmen

Keywords: Balkan Wars, The Association of Hilâl-i Ahmer, Ottoman Army, Medical Treatment


The Balkan Wars, which were initiated by the mistakes made within the internal affairs as well as foreign policy after the 2nd Constitutional Monarchy Regime (II. Meşrutiyet), were resulted in the defeat of the Ottoman State. The Ottoman State was caught by the war without much preparation and therefore ran into great difficulty and troubles in all part of the army. In addition to the extremely insufficient condition of the army in terms of logistic supports units, the army was also involved with politics, thus defeat in the Balkan Wars was almost inevitable. The medical aid organization of the Ottoman army also entered the war without any preparations. Renovated in 1911 and still under the state of establishment, Kızılay of Ottoman tried to give a large health care service to the public by using the budget reserved by the state and public donations. When the war broke in the October of 1912, Kızılay set up mobile hospitals along the front line. Volunteer medical doctors of the country citizens as well as the ones with foreign origins were placed in these hospitals. Besides the aid organizations of Muslim nations, European health aid organizations also provided help. Kızılay not only provided health care service to the ill or injured soldiers on the war front but also tried to give as much support as possible to the Balkanians who suddenly became immigrants in their homeland. The aid performance of Kızılay during the Balkan Wars, which was one of the significant tests of Kızılay during the First World War, gained a rightful reputation throughout the country. Especially against cholera, a great success was gained in the containment and the disease was eradicated in a relatively short time. In this article, the health aid services provided by Kızılay to the ill and injured soldiers of the Turkish Army during the Balkan Wars was shortly described.