Till I chanced to read a very interesting article by Zuhal OZAYDIN of the Istanbul University Cerrapasa Medical School, Department of Deontology and History of Medicine, Turkey published in the Turkish Red Crescent journal I had only known of two medical missions organized by Indian Muslims to Turkey to help attend to the many victims of war and disease during the Balkan wars in 1912. The most popular being the mission led by Dr. Mukhtar Ansari.
Zuhal Ozaydin, in his aforesaid article titled The Indian Muslims Red Crescent Society’s Aid to the Ottoman State During the Balkan War in 1912 mentions the details of all three medical missions. The least known of them being the second medical mission organized by Muslims of Bombay
According to Zuhal OZAYDIN, the second Indian medical mission to Turkey was organized by “Bombay Red Crescent Medical Team for Assisting the Poor Muslims”. This team was created with funds that were collected by “The Islamic Youth Foundation” and the Ziya-i-Islam Council from the city of Bombay. The mission arrived in Istanbul on December 17, 1912, reports the author. He further writes, “the medical team was placed at the Red Crescent Darulfunun (Charitable) Hospital….The medical team that had excellent tents and mobile hospital equipment, established a mobile hospital with 100 beds near Catalca at the chief front of Omerli, and accepted sick and wounded soldiers.
The article lists the names of six doctors, a pharmacist, a male head nurse assisted by 16 other male nurses, as well as a secretary and accountant accompanying the medical mission. The team was led by one Dr. Feyzi.
The article also mentions the names of many prominent Indians who donated funds for the medical mission.
Interestingly, the first medical mission to Turkey was organized by Indian Muslims living in the UK.
More about it in another post. Stay tuned!