We are once again in preparations of National Gastroenterology Week. This preparation of ours is perhaps a nominee to become our most significant and special work since our establishment. While it has always been a week which served as a platform for all gastroenterologists to come together in big numbers, exchange knowledge, and explore innovations, this year we will approach it with even greater enthusiasm as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey. As scientists with independent thinking and a progressive mindset, we aim to host a congress that reflects the dignity of our Republic. Moreover, this year marks the 40th anniversary of NGW. We are proud to say that with every passing year starting from our establishment, we have raised the bar of our standards and achievements, fueled by an ever-growing momentum.
This year, the 40th National Gastroenterology Week will be chaired by Prof. Dr. Serhat Bor, Head of the Department of Gastroenterology, Ege University Faculty of Medicine, and the 11th Gastroenterology Surgery Congress will be chaired by Prof. Dr. Birol Bostancı, Chief of Gastroenterology Surgery Education and Administration, Sağlık Bilimleri University Ankara Bilkent City Hospital. Our congress secretaries are Prof. Dr. İsmail Hakkı Kalkan, Professor of Gastroenterology, TOBB-University Faculty of Medicine, Prof. Dr. Yasemin Özin, Professor of Gastroenterology, Sağlık Bilimleri University Ankara Bilkent City Hospital, and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kadri Çolakoğlu for the Gastroenterology Surgery congress. Our course coordinator is Prof. Dr. Tarkan Karakan from Gazi University and our assistant course coordinator is Assoc. Prof. Dr. Göksel Bengi from Dokuz Eylül University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Gastroenterology. The congress president and organizing committee have been tirelessly working since taking office in order to introduce novel and innovative ideas to you. You will witness a multitude of fresh practices.
But this year, for the first time, a joint "Young Gastroenterologists Educational Meeting" between our society (TSG) and the United European Gastroenterology (UEG) is planned. You will witness that, in recent years, our relationship with UEG gradually strengthened and came to the point of holding a joint meeting thanks to our professors who has been representing us there over the years, as well as the studies and councils of new participants and young gastroenterologists. On the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Turkey, I would like to remind Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's words; "'The one who loves his homeland the most is the one who does his duty the best". Based on this quote, my interpretation is that the primary responsibility of scientists is to engage in scientific pursuits and to ensure that their ideas and opinions are acknowledged and valued globally the one who does that is the most devoted to their country. Henceforth, the primary objective of the Turkish Gastroenterology Association, particularly in recent times, has been to establish a significant presence on the international stage, utilizing every available avenue to achieve this end. In this congress, we aim to seize this opportunity not only to welcome and hear from international speakers, but also to facilitate the introduction of our young gastroenterologists, and we will provide this. We, now, want to attain recognition and be accepted for our research and publications. Our guiding principle is: "Actions speak louder than words", and we aspire to demonstrate this through concrete examples.
We are planning our scientific and social program in a way befitting the 100th anniversary of our Republic and the 40th anniversary of our congress, and we will share these with you. We will be presenting you interesting speakers and topics.
Whilst we were eagerly devising fresh initiatives for 2023, as the Turkish Society of Gastroenterology, we were shaken to core with the Kahramanmaraş and Elbistan earthquakes, which affected eleven cities and numerous of our citizens, including our colleagues, resulting in catastrophic loss and disruption to our daily existence. We were at a shock as to what to do in the face of our pain and losses that were so deeply felt and touched each and every one of us. Despite being initially halted by the profound suffering and loss that we have encountered, we have commenced our efforts to recuperate together, with the conviction that we will eventually overcome our wounds as one. Of course, it will take many years to recover. Maybe some of our losses will never be replaced. We will come together with the fact that trying to normalize is also a type of healing. In this respect, this congress will present us with the supreme occasion to establish a setting in which we can unite, experience the curative power of science, and exchange the warmth of companionship.
We invite you, as the enlightened individuals of a nation that has been bestowed upon us, to convene on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey. Let us generate contemporary knowledge and science, and impart it to our colleagues in both the national and international community, so that we may entrust a bright future to the upcoming generations.
Prof. Dr. Dilek Oğuz
President of Turkish Gastroenterology Association
On behalf of the Board of Directors