DR. FÜSUN SAYEK
“Peace is a child's dream,” says the poet. It is in our hands to make it the dream and reality of all of us.
(Tıp Dünyası - Medical World Magazine- December1,1997, Volume 98)
Dr. Füsun Sayek was born in 1947 in Bor, to her late father Dr. Ali Tekeşin, Bor’s Director of Health at the time. Because of her father's civil service, Füsun completed her primary education in Bor and her secondary education in Diyarbakır. Later, following her father's appointment to the Ministry of Health, she completed her high school education in the mainland and graduated from Ankara Girls' High School in 1964. She started her medical studies at Hacettepe Faculty of Medicine the same year and graduated in 1970. After her graduation, she worked as an assistant in the Department of Ophthalmology for one year in 1970-1971, and in June 1971, she married her classmate Dr. İskender Sayek and travelled to the United States.
After working for a while in the neurophysiology laboratory of Buffalo University, New York, she completed an internship at Millard Fillmore Hospital and started her residency in anesthesia at Edward J. Meyer Memorial Hospital, Buffalo, New York. In 1975 she was granted the best assistant research award by the American Society of Anesthesiology. She completed her residency in 1976 and went back home.
In Ankara, she took the anaesthesia specialty examination and worked as an anesthesiologist at Numune Hospital. In 1977, she started a new specialty training in the Department of Ophthalmology at Hacettepe Faculty of Medicine, which she completed in 1981. She left the university in 1982 to practise as an independent physician.
In 1986, she went to Moorfields Hospital, in Loncon, with a British Council Scholarship, and received a Community Eye Health certificate, following a 6-months training on the prevention of blindness. Upon her return to Turkey, she started to work as a consultant for the Ministry of Health. Soon after, she was promoted to Assistant General Manager of Treatment Services. One of her most notable achievements at the Ministry of Health was the project she carried out on trachoma in the Southeast of Turkey. Füsun Sayek, who worked on country-level programs for chronic diseases such as thalassemia and diabetes, was also involved in the reorganisation of blood banking. She was also a training officer in the World Bank’s first health project. She worked in the Ministry of Health until 1996.
Füsun Sayek entered the Ankara Medical Chamber in 1984, under the chairmanship of Prof. Dr. Ahmet Yaycıoğlu. In 1990, she entered the elections of the Turkish Medical Association and stayed for two terms in the council chaired by Dr. Selim Ölçer. In 1996, she was elected as the president of the Turkish Medical Association. As in every period of her life, she became a defender of human rights, patients’ rights, physicians’ rights and women's rights. At the Turkish Medical Association, she enabled the start and development of studies emphasising the importance of medical education. Her support for the preparation of the pre-graduation report on medical education has turned into an institutionalised process today. She made critical contributions to the preparation of many reports on medical education in the Turkish Medical Association. She also continued to work on strengthening relations with the European Union of Medical Specialists regarding specialty training. She made it possible for the continuous medical education crediting system to start and continue in Turkey, before many other countries in Europe put this system in place.
Füsun Sayek has always been vocal against war, and has always expressed her stance against individual armament or the use of mines in any environment. She made important contributions to the National Committee on Smoking and Health, and worked on eliminating the effects of tobacco on health. She was heavily involved in making the general practitioner a "specialty" field. She also played an important role in the Journal of Continuing Medical Education, published by the Turkish Medical Association, for primary care physicians, and was its editor for many years. In 1999, she completed the Leadership course in Cambridge, UK. She was the country representative in the Council of Europe Health Committee and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness. She was a mentor in the establishment of Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine Alumni Association and took part as a founding member.
In March 14th, 2006, Füsun Sayek was awarded the Medical Service Award by the Istanbul Medical Chamber for her contributions to the Turkish medical environment.
The causes she worked for and believed in, have been actively pursued and advanced by her husband Prof. Dr. İskender Sayek and two daughters, Selin and Aylin, through Füsun Sayek Association for the Development of Health and Education.
Articles written by Füsun Sayek - TTB Yayınları
Ode to Füsun Sayek- TTB Yayınları
Yücel Tanyeri's article on Füsun Sayek Events
Ahu Özyurt's article Turunç Ağaçlı Bahçe
İskenderun.org Article İskender Sayek Söyleşisi
Füsun Sayek Sanatla Anılıyor - 31 Temmuz 2010 / Sabah Newspaper
Article by Ilber Ortaylı Hatay'daki Büyük Görgüsüzlük - 14 Ağustos 2011 / Milliyet Newspaper
Füsun Sayek Park Opened in Çankaya - Çankaya Municipality