Two Branches of the Same Tree: A Brief History of Turkish Neuropsychiatric Society (1914-2016)

Noro Psikiyatr Ars. 2017 Dec;54(4):364-371. doi: 10.5152/npa.2017.17046. Epub 2017 Apr 25.


Introduction: The aim of this article is to provide a brief history of Turkish Neuropsychiatric Society by examining its institutional background, the milestones within its history, and the major activities undertaken by the organization during the years.

Methods: Firstly, the books, journals, and articles that are related to the history of psychiatry and neurology in Turkey have been reviewed and the information that can explain the history of the society has been brought together. The founding records, regulations, journals, and congress booklets of Tababet-i Akliye ve Asabiye Cemiyeti (Society of Psychiatry and Neurology) have been examined and the newspapers of the period have been reviewed to collect news concerning congresses and meetings. Besides, oral history interviews have been conducted with regard to the recent history of the society.

Results: Although the roots of neuropsychiatry in Turkey date back to the mid-nineteenth century, the first society, which was called Tababet-i Akliye ve Asabiye Cemiyeti (Society of Psychiatry and Neurology), was founded in 1914. The organization now maintains its activities under the name Türk Nöropsikiyatri Derneği (Turkish Neuropsychiatric Society). Turkish Neuropsychiatric Society has organized monthly meetings, conferences, and national congresses and has published numerous scientific journals in the field of neuropsychiatry over the past century.

Conclusion: As one of the earliest societies of medical specialty in Turkey, Turkish Neuropsychiatric Society has played a crucial role in the development and institutionalization of psychiatry and neurology. The administration and activities of the society occurred in the following institutions respectively: Toptaşı Asylum (1914-1925), Bakırköy (1925-1955), and Çapa (Psychiatry Clinic of Medical Faculty of İstanbul University). The society was mainly composed of psychiatrists and neurologists; however, neurosurgeons, psychologists, and neuropsychologists also attended the congresses and meetings held by the group.

Keywords: 20th century history; History; history of medicine; history of neuropsychiatry.