The Grand National Assembly of Turkey's (TMBB) special commission on celiac disease is said to be investigating the factories producing gluten-free food on-site and act to increase Turkey's gluten-free food production.
There is a total of 70,000 registered celiac disease patients in Turkey but experts believe there are more that have not been registered by the Health Ministry. Celiac disease is a serious autoimmune disorder that can occur in genetically predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. People suffering from celiac disease cannot consume gluten and must follow a special diet.
Although this disease is seen in one in every 100 people around the world, there is not much gluten-free food production in Turkey and the foods that are suitable for patients are quite expensive.
TBMM's special commission has embarked on a mission to help celiac patients. Even though Turkey's Social Security Institution (SGK) makes monetary aid to patients with celiac disease, it is still hard for people living in rural areas to have access to gluten-free food.
The commission will examine factories producing gluten-free food and set out a road map to increase the gluten-free food production.
Speaking to the press, Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) Kayseri Deputy İsmail Tamer said they will advise the SGK on the aid they give out to celiac patients and examine the gluten-free food production on-site. "We will also examine supermarkets and the sales of these products. We will present a report to different offices of the government and ministries. Our commission will continue to be a light of hope for celiac patients in Turkey."