Healthcare Activities of the German Red Cross in Istanbul and Edirne during the Balkan Wars
Milli Eğitim Bakanlığı, Konya/TÜRKİYE
Keywords: The Ottoman Empire, The Balkan Wars, The German Red Cross, Istanbul, Edirne
Together with the Geneva Convention signed in 1864 the understanding of perfect military healthcare services on the fronts began to develop and Red Cross Societies were established one after another in different countries of Europe. One of them is the German Red Cross Societies and this organization carried out health activities on the fronts without distinction between religion and nationality in wars that took place not only in Germany but also in different parts of the world. The German Red Cross served on the Ottoman fronts, especially during the Tripoli War (1911-12), the Balkan Wars (1912-13) and the First World War (1914-18), together with teams of doctors, nurses and caregivers.
In this study, firstly with the beginning of the Balkan Wars, it will be explained how the German Red Cross carried out a campaign to send healthcare teams both to the Ottoman Empire and to the Balkan countries. Afterwards, the activities put into practice by the healthcare teams in Istanbul and Edirne with expert health professionals under the supervision of experienced doctors working in universities of Germany will be evaluated in detail. In addition to this, the fight against gangrene cases and other serious diseases caused by the difficult conditions in which the Turkish soldiers were fighting on the front and the services that the German health professionals tried to carry out in this field together with the Red Crescent Society will be revealed. Additionally, in the light of the records written by the German medical teams numerical information about the treated patients will be given. Finally, fighting against the epidemics and the activities of the San Stefanos (Yeşilköy) Quarantine Center will also be discussed in detail here.