The 172 year old Gureba Hospital, which has been the embrace of compassion and healing for hundreds of thousands of citizens coming in from all over the country, and which has become Bezmialem Vakıf University Faculty of Medicine Hospital, is today the most significant of our history's nursing establishments.

Our hospital; was founded by Bezm-i Âlem Valide Sultan, the mother of Sultan Abdülmecit in 1845 (1261 Islamic calender), and it was devoted to the poor Muslims under the name "Bezm-i Âlem Gureba-i Müslimin Hospital".

Although there were contradictions regarding the opening day of the hospital, our hospital was opened on 24 March 1845 Friday, as confirmed by the copies regarding that date of the Takvîm-i Vekâyi newspaper.


In our history, a severe cholera outbreak occurred in 1826 in the country and especially in Istanbul. Therefore, the Ottoman Government established a Quarantine Administration in Istanbul and provided the treatment of those who came from outside the city and the personally provided treatment of those detected with cholera.

Sanitary facilities in Istanbul at that time :

  • Fatih Şifahanesi
  • Süleymaniye Darüşşifası (Hospital)
  • Haseki Bimarhanesi (Hospital)
  • Nur-u Banu Bimarhanesi  

Again during this time, the emergence of a severe outbreak of smallpox led to the necessity of establishing new health institutions. Seeing this situation, Bezm-i Âlem Valide Sultan intervened to work for the establishment of a new hospital by referring to her son, the Sultan.

According to the rumors brought down to us, when Valide Sultan had her dream interpreted the next day, the commentator told her, '' You will commit such a charity as the world stops two hundred men will talk of gratitude about you." Upon this, the hospital was decided to be a two hundred-bed male hospital.


All of the sanitary institutions that had been built until day were named "Bimarhane" which means "hospital". The name hospital was first used in this hospital, which was founded by Valide Sultan. The first institution opened under the name of Gureba was founded in 1836 in the courtyard of the Mihrimah Sultan Mosque in Edirnekapı. This institution, where patients were hospitalized on mats, was closed after eight years. Having experienced this, Valide Sultan wanted the new hospital to be much more modern.

The first official name of the hospital was ''Yenibağçede Kain Bezm-i Alem Gureba-i Müslimin Hospital". This name has been changed by the public according to its use and generally the name 'Gureba Hospital' has been used


Since the hospital was considered to be built far from the city, it was decided upon to be established on Yenibağçe Field. In terms of overseeing the construction, Sir Tahir, the Darbhane-i Amire Minister, was made responsible and he perosnally took care of it until the end of the construction. The reason for choosing a hollow location was because of the difficulties in transporting water upwards. The presence of the belt in front of the heater room of the hospital which was built on an ancient Roman ruin confirms this. (Image 1)

During that time, the Yenibağçe Field was surrounded by mansions called Baltacı chambers. On the front side, there is currently the Anchor side, and the rear part is located in Ebubekir Pasha Garden (currently Vatan Cad.). The land of the hospital was purchased partially from the Sultan Mustafa Foundation and partially from Geyvanzade, Zeynep Kadın, Helvacıbaşı İskender Ağa, Mustafa Ağa and Beyazıt-i Veli Foundations. It has been settled to pay a certain amount annually to the aforementioned foundations.


Resim 1


On the door of the hospital, the following verse of Ziver Pasha, one of the famous poets of the time, was printed on thick marble. (Image 2)


Şah-ı devran Hazret-i Abdülmecid Hana olur
Bezm-i Alem nam sultan mader-i ulya-meal
Eyleyüb ihya bu hastahanenin bünyanını
Mevkiinde eyledi te'sis hayra nezl-i mal
Tıbb-i Calinostan tedbire hacet kalmadı
Hastegana ola ab-ı hayat-efza zülal
Cism-i dünya buldu zatiyle ilac-ı afiyet
Hak tabib-i lütfun etti daafi-i derd-i melal
Gelse bimaran bulur elbet şifa bu cade
Havf-i mürk hastaya vermez havası ihtimal
Valide Sultanla Abdülmecid Hanı hüda
Haşredek kılsun mezid ömrle asude-hal
iki tarih oldu bir mısrada Ziver aşikar
Hastahane kıldı inşa Valide Sultan bu sal


The inscription on the fountain on the west of the entrance gate (Anchor Side) of the hospital is as follows; (Image 3)



In addition to this hospital, Bezm-i Âlem Valide Sultan has many foundations in various parts of the country. Although she wanted to build a hospital in Mecca in the last years of her life, she did not live long enough to do so. Later on, Abdülhamid II built a hospital in Mecca.


The cost of the hospital was reserved by the chamberlain. Later, at the Sultan's desire, the relevant endowment was prepared. This endowment was prepared in 1845 (1 Saban) in the Darphane-i Amire room of Sir Mehmet Tahir, the Minister of Darphane and the Chamberlain of the Sultan. Those who prepared the endowment; Sir Tahir , Foundations Inspector Sadeddin Bey, Clerk Mehmet Sait Bey, Hafız Ebubekir Bey, Hüseyin Hüsnü Efendi and Ahmet Ağa.

According to the perspective of that era, the regulation was prepared in such a perfect way that it includes many of today's views. Some notable points of the regulation which determined the admission and treatment conditions of the patients to their finest details were as follows;

Separate wards were allocated for infectious diseases at the time when the concept of germs was not well established in our country. Even while in Europe there was only a single corridor reserved, separate corridors were established at the Gureba Hospital. It is noteworthy that patients who cannot be treated are not accepted into the hospital.

The foundation charter did not belong only to the hospital. Part of a long foundation charter that gathered all the foundations of the Sultan was devoted to the hospital. The head of the administration was also given to the Ministry of pious foundations. Medical supervision was given to the Head Physician. The choice of doctors to work in the hospital was given to the Mekteb-i Tıbbiye-i Mülkiye-i Şahane council.

The first staff of the hospital were as follows;


Müdür-i hastahane (management)Eczac-ı sani (assistant pharmacist)
Tabib-i evvel (Head doctor)Eczac-ı evvel (pharmacist)
Tabib-i sani (assistant head doctor)Cerrah-i sani (surgeon)
Cerrah-i evvel (surgeon)Sülükçü (leech tender)
Havanzen (pharmacy technician)Katip (clerk)
Maaş müvezzi (salary distributor)Vekilharç (chief steward)
Vekilharç yamağı (assistant  chief steward)Aşçı (Cook)
Serhademe (chief caretaker)Hademe (caretaker)
Berber (barber)Kapıcı (janitor)


Surgeons and pharmacists in the first squad are unschooled and only two doctors are medicine graduates. The first Head doctor of the hospital is the District Governor Sir Ahmet. In 1873, Ferik Ahmet Pasha became Head doctor. (image 4)


When the hospital was first opened, it had 201 beds. Until 1892, there was no department division. Eye and surgery branches were established for the first time on the mentioned date. In 1894, the hospital suffered seriously from the earthquake that caused great damage to Istanbul. Most of the north and east corridors were demolished and the remaining walls were exposed to the risk of collapse. The patients were placed in 4 huts built in Okmeydanı. After a year of repair work, the patients were brought back to the hospital.


In 1900, the massage branch, which was completely unrecognized in our country, was established in the hospital. The ear branch in 1905, the first laboratory in 1909 and the Skin-Syphilis branch were established. The hospitals first library was built in 1912. The Pediatrics branch and X-ray Room in 1913, the Orthopedics Department in 1915, and the Urology Branch were established in 1918.


In 1926 the hospital was transferred to the Ministry of Health and a major renovation began. In the same year, a total of 9,149 patients were treated at the hospital. 3088 of these treatments consisted of eye, 2052 internal medicine, 1460 ear, 1186 skin and syphilis, 658 x-ray, 527 urology and 228 surgical. A total of 784 operations were performed.


In 1926 the hospital was transferred to the Ministry of Health and a major renovation was started. In the same year, a total of 9,149 patients were treated at the hospital. 3088 of them were eye, 2052 were internal medicine, 1460 were ear, 1186 were skin and syphilis, 658 were x-ray, 527 were urology and 228 were surgical. A total of 784 operations were performed.

The hospital, which was affiliated to the Ministry of Health until 1956, was transferred to the Foundations General Directorate in the same year. In 1933, a new university was established with the abolition of the Istanbul University, and the three clinics of this university remained at the university. (2. Internal Medicine, ENT, Skin Syphilis)

The number of hospitalized, outpatient and deceased patients between 1928 - 1942 is as follows; (image 5)


(image 5)

1938 View of the hospital in Vatan Caddesi (Street)

The Dermatology Polyclinic in 1957, Anesthesiology Service and Hayati Chemistry Laboratory in 1958,  and Gynaecological Polyclinics in 1961 were opened. In 1965, the number of beds was increased to 300, and a lecture hall was built in the area behind the mosque for training. In 1962, the transferral of the Hospitals Çapa clinics to the university was made. With the title deed dated 21.02.1966, Çapa clinics were transferred to Istanbul University in return for TL 16.029.000.


After the Gureba Hospital pavilions were transferred to Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, the Foundations Administration decided to build a new hospital and in 1969 the foundations of the existing hospital was laid. The hospital, which could not be completed for a long time due to the lack of allocation, was mostly completed by 1987 and was in full service in 1992.

In 1989, Bezmialem University was established within Vakif Gureba Hospital but in the same year, with the report of the Presidential State Supervisory Council, the legal personality of the university was abolished. In 2000, the hospital was assigned to the General Directorate of Social Security  for a period of 10 years but a suspension of execution case was opened regarding this decision.


In the case filed in the 10th Chamber of the Council of State regarding the transfer of the hospital, the decision was made to cancel the transfer. However, the General Council of the Council of State approved the transfer decision of the State Department of the SSK. The law on the transfer of SSK hospitals to the Ministry of Health was published in the Official newspaper on January 19, 2005 and the transfer of the health units belonging to the 'fused foundations' to the Ministry of Health was excluded. Following this regulation in the Law, the General Directorate of Foundations took action and took over the Foundation Gureba Hospital. The agreement meant that the SSK, Bağ-Kur and Emekli Sandığı (Government retirement fund) and green card holders could be treated here.

The right of usufruct of all the movable properties and realties belonging to the mentioned foundations was given to the Board of Trustees of Bezmialem Vakıf University. Therefore, Vakıf Gureba Hospital, which belongs to the Valide Sultan Foundation, was transferred to the University on October 25, 2010 with all its additions and has gained the title of "Bezmialem Vakıf University Faculty of Medicine Hospital".

In the Official Gazette dated April 24, 2010 and numbered 27561, annexed to the Law no. 2809 on the Organization of Higher Education Institutions, Bezmialem Vakıf University was established by the Prime Ministry General Directorate in the name of Bezmialem Valide Sultan Foundation, Abdülhamit Sani Foundation and Armorer Abdullah fused Foundations.