The history of mental health policy in Turkey: tradition, transition and transformation

Hist Psychiatry. 2021 Mar;32(1):3-19. doi: 10.1177/0957154X20966178. Epub 2020 Oct 30.


This article offers a brief history and the evolution of mental health policy in Turkey. It aims to analyse how mental health policies were transformed and why certain policies were introduced at specific times. The modern history of mental health policy is divided into three periods: the institutionalization of psychiatry and hospital-based mental health services; the introduction of community-based mental healthcare services; and lastly, the policy of deinstitutionalization after the 1980s. These periods have been categorized in a way that basically coincides with Turkey's modern political history.

Keywords: Community-based mental healthcare services; Turkey; deinstitutionalization; institutionalization of psychiatry; mental health policy; social policy.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Community Mental Health Services / history
  • Deinstitutionalization / history
  • Health Policy / history*
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Hospitals, Psychiatric / history*
  • Hospitals, Psychiatric / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Institutionalization / history*
  • Mental Disorders / history*
  • Mental Disorders / therapy
  • Mental Health Services / history*
  • Turkey