The Functioning of the Health Organization in the Ottoman Army and the Benefits It Provides with the Medicines Used in the Army (Eighteenth Century Example)Ömer Çağatay
One of the main parameters of the successful conclusion of a war is the establishment of an effective organizational network. Organization is a way of managing the whole in a controlled way by bringing together different parts. This intricate structure covers the process from the army’s departure from Istanbul to its return. There are many situations in this organization network, such as feeding the army, supplying beast of burden and sea vehicles, arranging roads and bridges, preparing materials needed by the army at range points, supplying ammunition, equal sharing of campaign financing in a controlled manner and not burdening the treasury. On the other hand, another factor that covers the organizational network is the health status of the soldier participating in the campaign. For this purpose, it was necessary to provide the physicians, surgeons, doctors, and their assistants to participate in the campaign and make them ready for war by making up for their deficiencies (pharmaceutical materials, tents, kitchen tools, and beasts of burden). Like other factors, preparations in the health field are among the factors that affect the war’s outcome. This research is conducted based on this information and will focus on how the health organization in the Ottoman army was carried out in the 18th century. Moreover, it will discuss who the medical personnel who participated in the war were, how their needs were met, what materials were provided, what the medicines were, and which diseases these medicines were used to treat.
Osmanlı Ordusunda Sağlık Organizasyonun İşleyişi ve Orduda Kullanılan İlaçlar ile Sağladığı Faydalar (On Sekizinci Yüzyıl Örneği)Ömer Çağatay
Bir savaşın başarıyla sonuçlanmasının temel parametrelerinden biri etkili bir organizasyon ağının kurulmasıdır. Organizasyon, farklı parçaları bir araya getirerek bütünü kontrollü bir şekilde idare etme biçimidir. Bu girift yapı Osmanlı Devleti için, ordunun İstanbul’dan hareketinden başlayıp, dönüşüne kadar olan süreci kapsamaktadır. Bu organizasyon ağı içerisinde ordunun beslenmesi, yük ve binek hayvanları ile deniz ulaşım araçlarının temini, yol ve köprülerin düzenlenmesi, menzil noktalarında ordunun ihtiyacı olan malzemelerin hazırlanması, mühimmatın tedariki, sefer finansmanının kontrollü ve hazineye yük olmayacak şekilde eşit olarak paydaş edilmesi gibi birçok durum yer almaktadır. Öte yandan organizasyon ağını kapsayan başka bir etmen, sefere katılan askerin sağlık durumudur. Bunun için seferde görev alacak hekim, cerrah, tabip ve yardımcılarını temin edip eksiklerini (ecza malzemesi, çadır, mutfak aletleri ve yük hayvanları) gidererek savaşa hazır hale getirilmesi gerekir. Diğer etmenler gibi sağlık alanındaki hazırlıkların da savaşın sonucuna etki eden değişkenler arasında olduğu unutulmamalıdır. Buradan hareketle yapılan araştırma neticesinde bu çalışmada on sekizinci yüzyılda Osmanlı ordusundaki sağlık organizasyonunun nasıl gerçekleştirildiği üzerinde durulacaktır. Diğer taraftan sefere katılan sağlık mensuplarının kimler olduğu, ihtiyaçlarının nasıl giderildiği, hangi malzemelerin verildiği, ilaçların neler olduğu ve bu ilaçların hangi hastalıkları tedavide kullanıldığına değinilecektir.
The scope of military history includes how wars were concluded within the scope of cause and effect and how the campaign was organized in the background. One of the reasons for the successful conclusion of a war was the good construction of the campaign organization network. In this context, military historians should not only express the struggle and cause-effects of a war on the battlefield but also have to investigate how the organization and logistics network of the campaign was carried out. Therefore, when evaluating a war, it should be remembered that the organizational network in the background will affect the war’s outcome.
After the Ottoman administration declared war on a state, it completed its preparations and launched a campaign quickly. This extensive preparation affected many states, sanjaks, and townships of the empire. After the war decision, The Ottoman campaign administration started preparations to employ doctors, surgeons, and assistants in the army. These preparations were the identification of health personnel, the supply of materials such as tents and kitchens, the supply of tools and equipment to be used in treatment, and the provision of transportation means for the transportation of materials. In addition, meeting the daily nutritional needs of the health workers (bread, meat, rice, and barley) and providing their travel and allowances were some of the other preparations made by the state. The state treasury generally covered all the preparations mentioned.
On the other hand, one of the factors that would affect the outcome of the war was the treatment of the wounded and sick. Medicines and materials necessary for treatment were given from Cebehâne-i Âmire. However, if the drugs and materials determined by the physicians, surgeons, or medical chiefs were not available in the ammunition or were missing, they would be taken with the allowance given by the state and included in the army ammunition. Another point where the medicines needed by the medical personnel were provided during the campaign were herbalists. As it is known, when the Ottoman Empire went on a campaign, a large group of military tradesmen joined the campaign with the army in order to meet the needs of the soldiers in the army. One of these groups was the herbalists. In addition to herbal medicines, herbalists were selling spices and scented products. Therefore, during the campaign, when any plant was needed in the composition of the medicines, they were supplied from them. From this point of view, it can be understood what an important task the herbalists fulfilled in the campaign.
Physicians, surgeons and doctors treated soldiers with herbs and medicines obtained from ammunition, through purchases or from herbalists. Medicines were prepared with the combination of leaves, roots, seeds, oil, gums, and resins of plants, as well as minerals. On the other hand, some of the supplied plants were produced by mixing with single plants and some with different plants. These medicines or preparations can be explained under three main headings: plant, animal, and mineral origin. As a result, the resulting ointment, moxibustion, syrup, and pills can be used to treat soldiers injured or sick during the campaign, internally and externally. Table 1 can be examined for detailed information on which diseases the prepared drugs are used. As a result, it should be stated that medicines in different compositions were used in the treatment of soldiers in the army to relieve many ailments, such as internalexternal, dermatologic, eye, ear, throat, and dental diseases.