turkce links to original Turkish article
(Sabah Newspaper, 10 April 2015)
Fortunately for Turkish medicine, he overslept on the fateful day.
In the latest issue of the monthly culture and history magazine
Yedikita, the story of Ottoman Pasha (general) Dr. Besim Omer
is revealed. Dr. Besim Omer was the first gynecologist in Turkey.
He left Turkey a month before a Red Cross conference was
scheduled to be held in Washington D.C. in May 1912 and
booked passage on the Titanic for the journey to America.
Dr. Besim Omer reached Paris and intended to take the train to
Cherbourg, which was the Titanic's first stop after leaving England
on 10 April 1912. However, the staff at his hotel in Paris failed
to wake him in time to catch the train to Cherbourg. Later, after
reaching Cherbourg, he heard the news of the sinking of the Titanic
and the loss of 514 lives.
Dr. Besim Omer took another ship to America and represented
the Ottoman Empire at the Red Cross conference in Washington.
After his close escape, he would characterize himself as "the
luckiest man on Earth."
As one of the most important medical men of the late Ottoman
period, Dr. Besim Omer established the first gynecological clinic
for women in Turkey in 1892. He was instrumental in the revival
of the Turkish Red Crescent organization, serving as its head during
the Battle of Canakkale (Gallipoli) during World War I.
He was a leader in training women doctors in Turkey and established
the Society for the Protection of Children. Dr. Besim Omer wrote
more than 400 scientific articles and more than 70 books. When the
law was passed making a surname mandatory in Turkey he chose
'Akalin' (white forehead). He died in Ankara in 1940.
Route of the Titanic.