The scientific affinity to the subjects of veterinary history and deontology started in Turkey with the establishment of the first Veterinary School in İstanbul in 1842.
Throughout the period beginning with 1842 and ending in the year 1944, these subjects were taken place in veterinary training. They offered by different departments and different instructors under different titles such as “history of science”, “veterinary history”, “the science of morality and deontology”, by different methods such as “historiograpgic”, “didactic”, “advisory” and with different contents such as “historical development of the profession” and “veterinary legislation”.
Following the establishment of the Higher Agricultural Institute (HAI) in Ankara in 1933, Veterinary School was transferred from İstanbul and became the Faculty of this Institute. Course schedules were reorganised and lessons on veterinary history and deontology were begun to recite by Anatomy and Internal Medicine Institutes of the HAI. Veterinary History and Deontology lessons were included in the veterinary curriculum as compulsory subjects in 1944.
The Veterinary Faculty of the HAI was included to Ankara University in 1948 and the Department of Veterinary History and Deontology (VH&D) was separately established in 1950.
Nihal Erk, who had received her M.S. degree at the Department of Bacteriology and Microbiology, became the first assistant of this newly founded Department. Ferruh Dinçer was appointed as the assistant of the Department in 1963.
By the 1970s, research activities carried out by this Department had reached significant levels. A museum had been established within the Department and two new graduates had started their doctorate studies. International affairs were accelerated.
Beginning with 1980s, in accordance with the “Principles of Education in Veterinary Schools” determined as a result of Higher Education Law, the educational programmes were rearranged. VH&D Department was closed within this frame and the lessons of the Department were included in the optional category. Furthermore, assignments of academic staff to the Department were avoided and scientific research opportunities were restricted.
The establishment of the VH&D as the division of Morphology Department within the structure of the Department of Basic Sciences was adopted by the Higher Educational Council in 1988 and lessons were included in the veterinary curriculum as compulsory subjects once again. This division was transformed to the separate Department in 1993, and the graduate studies were also restarted.
The academic personals of this Department have undertaken important responsibilities in constitution and development of newly founded departments and training their academicians.
This Department has offered veterinary history, deontology, veterinary legislation and professional ethics as compulsory courses and veterinary-public relations as elective course. In courses on the history of veterinary medicine, it is aimed to provide information on the transformation that the veterinary profession has undergone from ancient times to date in the world and in Turkey, to enable the orientation of students to the profession and to up skill students with the capability of retrospective thought. It is expected that, by attending these courses, students may gain insight on the future of the profession at universal and local scale. Courses on legislation are mainly focussed on the legislative and administrative state of play of the veterinary profession in Turkey, and the duties, authorities and responsibilities of the veterinarian towards patients, animal owners, colleagues and the public in general. These courses, which touch upon the body of rules to be complied with by the veterinarian when performing his profession, as well as upon the sanctions imposed in case of infringement, also make reference to the relevant EU legislation. On the other hand, ethics courses cover both theoretical lessons and case studies, and aim at up skilling candidate veterinarians with the capability of distinguishing between good-bad, right-wrong, fair-unfair, and correctly applying the ethical decision making process.
On the other hand the graduate courses, which have offered Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees in this field have been carried out with the collaborations of the Graduate School of Health Sciences of Ankara University. Between the years 1955-2017, totally 18 PhD Studies, were completed in this Department. Today, one Professor, one Assistant Professor and two Research Assistants are on duty and the Department has also got five PhD students.