Turkish Muslim Healers: A Qualitative Investigation of Hocas and Their Methods

CANEL ÇINARBAŞ D., Tuna E., Ar-Karci Y.

JOURNAL OF RELIGION & HEALTH, vol.59, no.5, pp.2397-2413, 2020 (AHCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 59 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10943-019-00885-9
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, ATLA Religion Database, CINAHL, EMBASE, Index Islamicus, MEDLINE, Psycinfo
  • Page Numbers: pp.2397-2413
  • Keywords: Traditional healers, Muslim healers, Turkish culture, EXPLANATORY MODELS, CANCER-PATIENTS, ILLNESS, SEEKING
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


A vast majority of Turkish individuals are Muslim, and several Turkish individuals refer to traditional healers to get help for medical and psychological problems. The purpose of the present study was to investigate Turkish traditional healing methods and to delineate the kinds of presenting problems that the clients bring to healers, methods used by the healers, the healing process, and the effect of healing on the clients. For this purpose, 11 participants were interviewed. The data were analyzed using the consensual qualitative research method. Nine domains emerged from the interviews: symptoms, diagnosis, etiology, treatment, response to treatment, characteristics of healers, clients' beliefs and desire to be healed, all healing coming from Allah (God), and characteristics of jinns. The findings were discussed in light of Kleinman's (Patients and healers in the context of culture: an exploration of the borderland between anthropology, medicine, and psychiatry, University of California Press, Berkeley,1980) illness explanatory model and characteristics of Turkish culture.