türkçe links to original Turkish article
(Sözcü Newspaper, 5 December 2016)
Touting 5,000 years of experience.
Now we've seen everything in Turkey. A health scandal's
address is in Istanbul's İkitelli district where the Spiritual Health
Center opened a month ago in a 5-story building. On its internet
site the center announces that it is "Turkey's first and only
spell-breaking and evil spirit-ridding hospital!"
The website adds that "this is a hospital that pays taxes and has
many hojas, experts and workers to provide professional service."
Citizens invited to the so-called hospital are offered seances
to expunge evil spirits and break spells. On its Facebook page,
the center shows scenes from a 'spiritual operation' where
evil spirits are exorcised from a patient.
We called the center and asked "are your treatments legal?"
In response we were told that "officials from the Health Ministry
came for three days. No problems." A worker at the center told
us that "this center is aimed at thwarting fly-by-night 'üfürükcü'
(person who professionally claims to cure someone by breathing
on him/her) and charlatans. Everything's legal here. We even put
videos on the internet. If we weren't legal they'd come and close
us down right away."
Üfürükçü dispensing hot air, and lots of it.
When we asked "who will treat us for evil spirits and spells?",
we were told "Gül hoja, who is very experienced, is at the center.
He has spirits himself but there are Moslem spirits, too. Gül hoja
examines you to see if you have a spell on you or evil spirits for
100 TL (about 30 USD). The treatment then costs 400 TL."
The center's founder is Lütfü Bulut, who previously worked as
a journalist. He explained that while doing a story on this subject
he became interested in the field. Bulut said that the center is an
advisory center, not a hospital. Complaints on social media
prompted Health Ministry officials to visit the center, according
to Bulut, but "they even had closed doors opened and found
nothing because this isn't a hospital. We don't prescribe medicine
for people. We don't examine anyone. My aim is to rescue people
from fly-by-night üfürükçüs and charlatans. I wanted to gather
hojas who have done this work for years under one roof."
House calls can be arranged.
Bulut admitted that the center does not have a license (!) but he
asserted that "we applied for a license but it's not something
you get overnight. The process is continuing. The minicipality
fined us because our sign was too big. But we have a tax number."
When we asked about the 'spiritual operation' video that has
drawn reactions on social media, Bulut said that it has been
misunderstood. He explained that "yes, it's a spiritual operation.
There's no blood or cutting. A Moslem would understand this.
What' your religion?"
Say 'ahhhhh' and let the evil spirits rush out!
In the scene above, a person in a 'doctor's outfit' writes
something on the hands of the young girl lying down.
Then he begins to read passages from the Koran. He
asks the girl "can you answer?" Next, he holds the
girl's head and turns it from side to side. He says in
a loud voice "what is your religion? Why have you
come here? Satan leave this girl! What is your name?
Tell me." He continues to read passages. At the end
of the video the girl becomes aggressive and is restrained
by three people.
In case you'd like to visit...