By Matthew Brunwasser ⋅ April 25, 2012
The intensive care unit of Istanbul’s memorial hospital looks like any modern hospital anywhere. But it definitely doesn’t sound like one.
Dr. Bingur Sonmez introduces himself: “I am Professor Doctor Bingur Sonmez, I’m a cardiac surgeon, I’ve been doing cardiac surgery more than 30 years. What we are doing in intensive care, we are playing Sufi music to our patients to calm down, to make them feeling much better.”
Sufism is a mystical strain of Islam whose traditional music is popular among Turks. Sonmez says that five centuries ago when Europeans were burning people alive for having mental illnesses, the Turkish Ottoman Empire had a more civilized approach.
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