Abstract and Keywords
This chapter offers a comprehensive analysis of recent patterns in health politics and policymaking in Turkey by focusing on nine dimensions of healthcare and public health. These dimensions range from physician politics, the politics of international policy expertise, business politics, the politics of medical humanitarianism, and patient politics to sexual and reproductive health politics, tobacco control politics, the politics of drug abuse, and the politics of the COVID-19. Based on this analysis, the chapter reaches three main conclusions. First, since the early 2000s, a new scene of health politics has begun to emerge in Turkey where both corporate actors and patient organizations are actively present alongside the government, political parties, and the Turkish Medical Association. Second, the framing of health in Turkish politics is no longer confined to social policy. The multiplication of references to health in various political discourses in economic growth, market regulation, population, family, and humanitarian policies in recent years has generated contested meanings and policy implications. Finally, an increasing number of democratic actors such as patient organizations, opposition political parties, and individual citizens are deploying public health and social policy frameworks about a diverse set of health issues in making rights claims. These efforts reflect continued popularity of the social policy framing of healthcare and signify democratization of health politics by turning health into a platform through which rights, entitlements, and the role of the state are negotiated.
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