Nisha Rathode (Editor)

Mehmet Haberal

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Name  Mehmet Haberal
Role  Surgeon

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Organizations founded  Baskent University

Mehmet Haberal, MD, FACS (Hon), FICS (Hon), FASA (Hon)


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In 1975, Mehmet Haberal performed the first living-related kidney transplant in Turkey. Alongside his active career in organ transplantation and burn treatment, he was an early participant in the move to create private non-profit higher education institutions in Turkey by establishing Başkent University. Though established in Ankara, the university is known throughout the country for its medical school, hospitals, outpatient clinics, and dialysis centers.

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Haberal was born on October 29, 1944, in Pazar, Rize Province, Turkey. Surgeon and professor of Surgery, he trained at Ankara University in Turkey. He completed his fellowship in burns at the Shriners Burn Institute and John Sealy Hospital in Galveston, Texas (1973) before training under Prof. Thomas Starzl at the Colorado University Medical School Transplantation Center, Denver (Jan. 1974 – June 1975). He then returned to Turkey where he inaugurated the field of organ transplantation in the country.

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Education and degrees

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  • M.D.; Ankara University Medical School, Ankara, Turkey, 1967
  • General Surgeon certification; Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey, 1971
  • Post-Specialty Training: Texas and Colorado, 1973-1975
  • Transplantation firsts

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    In addition to Turkey’s very first kidney transplant in 1975, Professor Haberal’s transplantation firsts include the following:

  • First deceased-donor kidney transplant in Turkey, 1978
  • First domestic deceased-donor kidney transplant in Turkey, 1979
  • He performed successful deceased-donor kidney transplants with a cold ischemia time of 111 hours, a first in the medical literature, 1983
  • First successful deceased-donor liver transplant in Turkey, the Middle East and Northern Africa, 1988
  • First organ harvesting and sharing programs in different cities of Turkey, 1989
  • First pediatric segmental living-related liver transplantation in Turkey, the region, and Europe, 1990
  • First adult segmental living-related liver transplantation in the world, 1990
  • First combined liver-kidney transplantation from a living-related donor, the first operation of its kind anywhere in the world, 1992
  • Academic appointments and achievements

    On being certified in general surgery in 1971, Haberal was appointed Assistant Professor at Hacettepe University in Ankara, where he also became Associate Professor in 1976 and full professor in 1982.

    In 1993, under the aegis of the Turkish Organ Transplantation and Burn Foundation and the Haberal Education Foundation, he founded the non-profit Başkent University

    Scientific societies

    Haberal's scientific society participation includes:

  • Served as Turkish Representative to the International Society of Burn Injuries (ISBI) (since 1975), Eastern Mediterranean Representative (1982-1986) Associate Secretary General (1986-1990), President-Elect (2004-2006), and President (2006-2008), and subsequently Life Member
  • Member of the American Burn Association (1978-)
  • Established the Turkish Organ Transplantation and Burn Foundation (1980)
  • Founding Member of the Mediterranean Burns Club (1982)
  • Established the Middle East Dialysis and Organ Transplantation Foundation (MEDOTF) (1984)
  • Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) (1986), Honorary Fellow (2010), Governor and Turkey Representative (2014-).
  • Founder and first President of the Middle East Society for Organ Transplantation (MESOT) (1987), MESOT Lifetime Achievement Award (2006), and President (2014–2016)
  • Founder and President of the Turkish Transplantation Society (TOND) (1990-)
  • Established the Turkish Burn and Fire Disaster Society (TYAD) (1995)
  • Established the Turkish Transplant Games Society (2000)
  • Turkey Representative of the Academy of Surgical Research (2004)
  • Councilor for the Middle East and Africa of The Transplantation Society (TTS) (2004-2008)
  • Established the World Academy of Medical, Biomedical and Ethical Sciences (WAMBES) (2012)
  • Established the International Haberal Transplantation and Education Foundation (IHTEF) (2013) to support the work of the 2008 Declaration of Istanbul (DoI) on Organ Trafficking and Transplant Tourism, of which he is a member of the Steering Committee].
  • Established the Turkic World Transplantation Society (TDTD) (2014)
  • Awards

  • Everett Idris Evans Memorial Award from the American Burn Association, 1985
  • Publications

    Haberal has authored 6 books in Turkish and 4 books in English. As of December 2015, he had also authored more than 1500 scientific publications in English and Turkish.

    See also
  • Transplantation in Turkey (2001)
  • My Life in Burns (2008)
  • What is My Crime: Professor Mehmet Haberal’s Oral Silivri Deposition (2013)
  • Akyol M, Oral MK, Keskin T, Güney F. Haberal: Prof. Dr. Mehmet Haberal’s Life 24/7. Istanbul: Aküm Yayınları, 2013.
  • Member of Parliament

    In 2011, Haberal was elected Member of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, representing Zonguldak as a member of the Republican People’s Party (CHP). However, at the time of his election he was in prison awaiting trial (see preceding paragraph). Although the accusations against him and other prominent citizens were widely seen as fabrications, he was not released despite being elected to parliament and was thus prevented from taking his oath as an MP. After his release from prison in August 2013, he took the oath on October 2, 2013 and served in parliament until the following election in 2015, at which time he chose not to be a candidate.

    Arrest and imprisonment

    On April 13, 2009, Haberal was detained by the police, along with others suspected of involvement in an anti-government group known as Ergenekon. Although the accusation against him and other prominent citizens was widely seen as a fabrication, Haberal was formally charged on April 17 and imprisoned. On August 15, 2013, he was sentenced to 12 years and 6 months in prison, but was released for time served. Subsequent appeals resulted in a historic decision by the Supreme Court on April 21, 2016, in which they overturned the convictions and ruled that the alleged Ergenekon did not in fact exist.

    Despite being cut off from his clinical and academic work during his arrest, in 2013 Elsevier Publishing House recognized Haberal as the second most published author in the field of transplantation, based on the total number of publications between 1932 and 2012.


    Mehmet Haberal Wikipedia