Professor Ersin Tan is President of the Turkish Neurological Society and works at the Hacettepe University Medical School, Department of Neurology in Ankara.
Gian Luigi Lenzi (GLL): Can you briefly illustrate the history of the Turkish Neurological Society to the readers of Neuropenews?
Ersin Tan (ET): The Turkish Neurological Society was founded on May 12, 1992 as separate society but our history goes back 50 years (as Turkish Society of Neuropsychiatry). Our society aims are to increase awareness of neurological diseases in Turkey. To investigate the impact of these diseases on public health, to make preventive studies and improve education and research facilities of the professionals related to neurology. We also aim to increase recognition of neurological diseases, presenting their reasons, diagnosing and preventing these diseases in Turkey and bring together all kinds of neurological fields such as child neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry, physical treatment and rehabilitation, otorhinolaryngology and eye diseases specialists and psychologist, physiotherapist, hearing and talking specialists and nurses.
We publish journals, newspapers, videos and prepare other written, audio or visual materials regarding the society’s purpose and send these to our members for educational purposes. In order to meet world standards we organize congresses, conferences and seminars to exchange knowledge among members, and educate people regarding these problems. Research, review, publish and encourage people who work in the field of neurology. Awarding scholarships and give awards. We support our members to study abroad for a limited time to advance their professional knowledge. Our current membership is 2175 and it is rising with a great interest.
GLL: Can you introduce us to some of the famous members of your medical society that contributed to the advancement of neurology in Turkey and worldwide?
ET: We have many very well known members in the scientific and practical area of neurology in Turkey but I may mention some of them as an example.
Professor Aksel Siva is one of the most famous members of our society. He is one of our Society’s Past President and he is a founding member of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Turkey and Chairman of the National Scientific Committee. He currently is a member of the Executive Committee of the European Neurological Society.
Professor Murat Emre is also one of our well-known members. He worked in the fields of neurorehabilitation and clinical research, behavioral neurology and his research interests are in Parkinson’s disease and related disorders, in particular cognitive aspects of the disease, Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.
Professor Turgay Dalkara is another famous member of the Turkish Neurological Society. He has honored our society several times with valuable prizes. His latest success is winning “The World Academy of Sciences for the Developing World 2013 Prize”.
Professor Cumhur Ertekin is also one of our famous members. Prof. Ertekin has over 100 international publications, around 1000 ascription, 11 books in Turkish publications and over 150 national publications during his career. There are plenty scientific methods known by his name. He retired at the end of 2004 however, he still coaches us with lectures he gives at the national congresses.
And the list of our famous members may continue…
GLL: The Joint Congress of the two European Neurological Societies, ENS and EFNS, will be hosted by Turkey and the EAN will become a reality. Which role has Turkey to play in this?
ET: İstanbul is literally a bridge between Europe and Asia. It has successfully sustained its diversity of cultures 1000s of years. Now, the city will have the opportunity to join two European Neurological Societies for this magnificent event. The Turkish Neurologists are very interested in international meetings, this will be a great pleasure for us being in a relation with the international societies which have the same purposes as the Turkish Neurological Society. We believe that the Joint Congress in Istanbul will provide the ideal platform for continuing education in all fields of neurology. We are looking forward to welcoming you in Istanbul.
GLL: Which role do e-learning and web-journals play in the formation of young neurologists in Turkey?
ET: The Turkish Neurological Society gives importance to e-learning. All our National Neurological Congress presentations and videos are available to watch online. Our journal is also published online. Archives of other educational videos and presentations are offered on our website which is very well received among young neurologists. We did also two successful series of e-learning lectures broadcasted live to our members.
GLL: Which main sessions will you choose to attend at the EAN Congress in Instanbul and why?
ET: I look forward to attend Symposium 4 on Alzheimer prevention and uncommon causes of dementia (Monday, June 2, 8.30-10.30). A fantastic opportunity to get an update from world leading experts in their fields. Besides, this session is a nice example of European cooperation on the scientific programme with the other societies.
GLL: Which Teaching Course will you suggest the young neurologists to attend and why?
ET: A wide range of teaching courses will take place in the congress. I highly recommend the young neurologists to attend case-based decision making in multiple sclerosis – Level 1-2 to get an idea how Turkish neurologists approach multiple sclerosis. Courses on cerebrovascular diseases are also important to increase knowledge on these common disorders.
GLL: What is your message to the EAN?
ET: On behalf of the Turkish Neurologists I would like to thank the future EAN for their contribution to European neurology and congratulate them (the EFNS and ENS) for this efficient scientific programme.