Over the past two decades, terrorism has exacted an enormous toll on the Republic of Turkey, a secular democracy with a 99.8% Muslim population. From 1984 to 2000, an estimated 30,000 to 35,000 Turkish citizens were killed by a nearly continuous stream of terrorism-related events. During this period, the Partiya Karekeren Kurdistan (PKK), a Kurdish separatist group (re-named KADEK in 2002), was responsible for the vast majority of terrorism-related events (and casualties), which disproportionately affected the eastern and southeastern regions of Turkey, in which the PKK has focused its activities. Most terrorist attacks over the past two decades have been bombings or shootings that produced <10 casualties per event. From 1984 to 2003, 15 terrorist attacks produced ≥30 casualties (eight shootings, five bombings, and two arsons). The maximum number of casualties produced by any of these events was 93 in the Hotel Madimak arson attack by the Tu r kish Islamic Movement in 1993.
This pattern suggests that terrorist attacks in Turkey rarely required more than local systems of emergency medical response, except in rural areas where Emergency Medical Services (EMS) are routinely provided by regional military resources. The last decade has seen the development of several key systems of local emergency response in Turkey, including the establishment of the medical specialty of Emergency Medicine, the establishment of training programs for EMS providers, the spread of a generic, Turkish hospital emergency plan based on the Hospital Emergency Incident Command System, and the spread of advanced training in trauma care modeled after Advanced Trauma Life Support.