The first place Turks go for minor illnesses is an eczane (eg-zah-neh), which is a Turkish a pharmacy or chemist's. They are identified by a red "E" emblazoned on a square white background. You'll find at least one eczane in practically every town in Turkey, and a large number of them in larger cities.
When to Use an Eczane
If you're suffering from some minor ailment, the pharmacist there is trained to listen to a description of your symptoms and dispense medicine. Many of these medicines might require a doctor's prescription in your country, but are dispensed by an eczacı (ej-zah-juh), or pharmacist, in Turkey. If your symptoms indicate that you need to see a doctor, or that you need a medicine which can only be prescribed by a doctor, the eczacı can recommend one.
What You Can Get at an Eczane
Besides medicine and drugs, you can also buy such things as
- Orthopedic devices
- Throat lozenges
- Athlete's foot creme
- Antiseptic cremes and sprays
- Mosquito repellent
While many of these types of items would be sold in a large grocery store in your home country, you have to go to an eczane to get some of them in Turkey. Prices are cheap though, since drug and medicine prices are controlled by the Turkish government. If they don't have the brand you want, they will probably have the same thing under another brand name.
The Nöbetçi, or On-duty Pharmacist
If you go to an eczane after normal hours or on Sunday, and find it closed, you'll see a sign on the door with an address and telephone number for the nöbetçi (nuh-beht-chee) or on-duty pharmacist. The duty rotates between eczanes in the same city or town, so at least one is always open. The nöbetçi eczane might not be close by, so you may need to ask a taxi driver to take you there if you don't know where it is.
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