Most of us know and are aware of the importance of a community Pharmacy.

In Turkey, pharmacies are called Eczanes. You can find them by looking for a red E on a white background, surrounded by a red box.


Pharmacies appeared for the first time around the 11th century, and they were operating within hospital walls until the 13th century.

In the mid-19th century, if you visited a pharmacy, you would have dealt with what was known as an apprentice pharmacist who was personally trained and supervised by a Master Pharmacist.

You guessed it – All pharmacists during this period were men.

This practice of education was replaced in the year 1839 by education as we know it today.  A school of medicine was set up in Istanbul at the” Imperial School of Medicine” where classes were initially thought in French.

In 1923 Turkey became a republic state and the Pharmacy sector underwent radical changes with new laws being passed and implemented.

An article was written in the Daily Sabah about a specific Ottoman era Pharmacy and its history for which I have included a link for further interesting reading:

Women Pharmacists graduated for the first time in the country in 1930 – 7 years later.

The first female Community Pharmacist in Turkey was Fatma Belkis Derman who attended Istanbul’s University faculty of medicine from 1927 and graduated in 1930 – 3 years later.

Ms. Derman went on to own her own Pharmacy, manage a laboratory out of which she produced three medicines which she licensed in her own name.

Fatma Belkis Derman was an advocate for women in pharmacuticals.  We are reminded that historically successful women were known to persevere on behalf of others despite community attitudes and disdain during the particular era.

The first real drug manufacturing company was established in 1952 along with some very stringent laws concerning pharmacists and their pharmacies to include the foundation of the “Turkish Pharmacists Association.

Community pharmacy practice

As the heading indicates, pharmacists are very respected members of our communities, they are trusted.

The community Pharmacist not only dispenses drugs, but they are also, most times, the first point of call for us should we become unwell.

In addition, the Pharmacist also serves as a patient counsellor with most of us preferring to chat with him/her in the first instance rather than having to go to Accident and Emergency at the local hospital or make an appointment with a physician at the hospital.

Believe it or not but Turkish law dictates that each practicing pharmacist must own their own premises – Freehold, where their community-based business operates.

Pharmacists are not allowed more than one pharmacy and it follows that Chain pharmacies are not allowed operate in Turkey.

Interestingly, only one pharmacy is allowed per 3,500 inhabitants of the village, town or city and the pharmacist must be both qualified and a citizen of Turkey.


Community pharmacists tend to work longer days than other pharmacies.  Some would work 10 – 12-hour shifts resulting in sometimes 50-hour weeks.

Pharmacies also provide an on-duty 24-hour service at least once monthly.

It is compulsory that a pharmacy has an on-duty (24hour Services) illuminated signage which can be seen from outside the premises during twilight hours by customers.

Apart from signage and having to walk the footpaths or enquire from friends or neighbors, your local Belediye will have a page on their website dedicated to on duty 24hr Pharmacies near you.

Attached here is a separate link to the kusadasi+eczaneler+nobetci so that at any time you will have exact information.        


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