How much further could a national society go?

How much further could a national society go? - article image

The Turkish Thoracic Society (TTS) is a national, professional and scientific non-profit organisation of specialists in respiratory medicine, founded in 1992.

Our main objectives include: postgraduate education, scientific research, preventive and therapeutic patient care, awareness and advocacy around national policies for the improvement of lung health, cooperation with regional and global organisations. These objectives lead us in our aim of improving the national lung health in Turkey.

Respect for human life, patient rights and environment, solidarity, cooperation, transparency, accountability, scientific and evidence-based medicine and coherence to ethical codes frame all our activities.

This is a broad remit, but we are constantly trying to expand our activities. We know that respiratory diseases are very closely linked with the social determinants of health such as tobacco use, indoor and outdoor pollution, environmental and occupational exposure, vaccination, nutrition, birthweight (maternal malnutrition), maternal smoking, physical activity and gender.

As a respiratory society, we know we should also be involved with tackling these social determinants, rather than just focusing on medical treatment. Without this, we cannot achieve our aim of improving national lung health. The question is, how can we expand, while also tackling these social determinants?

Hundreds of millions of people suffer and 4 million die prematurely from respiratory diseases but most of them are avoidable.

TTS preventive activities against these social determinants include:

  • TTS has been conducting Turkish Ministry of Health National Control Program on Chronic airway diseases together with 60 parties (GOs, NGOs, Universities). One of these working groups of this program is mainly dealing with primary and secondary prevention of these diseases
  • Many anti-tobacco activities have been undergoing successfully
  • Two studies conducted in Soma Mine region after the accident and an educational meeting series in 6 mining cities of Turkey
  • MECOR Course aiming to reduce healthcare inequities worldwide in its 8th year in collaboration with ATS
  • Public website for awareness.

We are passionate about tackling clean air. An indoor and outdoor task group has been established, a workshop has been organised and a position paper has been published. A strong collaboration with Greenpeace and HEAL has been started. We believe clean air is health and clean air is justice.


Many awareness activities have also been organised in the Turkish Parliament, with major journalists.


We also instigate campaigns aimed at reaching the public. A COPD awareness campaign has recently reached 25 million people.

With respiratory health covering such wide ranging topics, we are struggling to expand our boundaries to acheive or aim. There are many social determinants of health that need tackling and we aim to do this alongside all our scientific activities, congresses, global partnership work and publications. It is a challenge but one we are dedicated to.

The Turkish Thoracic Society

An important national and global actor enlarging the boundaries each day

With 4,500 members, 15 branches, 81 province representatives throughout the country and 18 scientific assemblies, TTS is the largest specialist organisation in the area of respiratory medicine in Turkey.

Scientific activities

Annual congresses give us the opportunity to present the latest developments. The number of congress participants and presented abstracts are increasing every year and reached approximately to 2,000.

Educational activities

TTS School organises postgraduate courses during the Annual Congress. TTS School is also responsible for managing the postgraduate educational policies and a number of other activities:

  • Winter School:held annually in January to update the knowledge and skills of clinicians.
  • Professional Development Courses: targeted to pulmonologists working in the field and aim to improve their level of daily practice.
  • Regional Courses: joint meetings for the continuous postgraduate education.
  • E-learning facilities: online postgraduate information including case discussion modules and consultation services.

International Autumn Symposia aims to increase the level of the academicians.Each year one particular topic is selected and discussed in details. World reknown scientists are invited as the faculty to these Symposia.

TTS views world awareness days as important opportunities for creating awareness in public and among healthcare workers.

National Collaborations

TTS collaborates with the Turkish Ministry of Health under the frame of the Control Program of the Chronic Respiratory Diseases in Turkey (GARD Turkey project).

TTS has made extensive contributions in the establishment of the Turkish Board of Pneumology and close collaboration with the Turkish Medical Association and with other respiratory and non-respiratory specialtist societies in Turkey.


International collaborations

TTS is aware of the fact that causes and solutions of the national lung health problems should be considered on a global scale.

TTS has been collaborating with ERS and has just started a joint membership programme with 2,250 TTS members becoming part of the ERS membership.

  • WHO-GARD (Global Alliance against Respiratory Diseases)
  • Forum of European Respiratory Societies (FERS)
  • Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA)
  • American Thoracic Society (ATS) (Sister Society)
    • TTS and ATS have been organizing MECOR (Methods in Epidemiologic, Clinical and Operations Research) courses with great success.
  • A leader in MEA region


  • Turkish Thoracic Journal,
  • Thorax Monographs,
  • TTS Educational Book Series,
  • Toraks Bulletin
  • Guidelines
  • Online library
  • Patient educational handbooks
  • Public website and social media

Arzu Yorgancıoğlu
President of the Turkish Thoracic Society

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