TURKISH PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION PRESS RELEASE REGARDING TERRORIST ATTACK in ANKARA
We, as the Turkish Psychological Association, condemn the terrorist attack on our fellow citizens gathered for “Labor, Democracy and Peace” on October, 10, 2015 in Ankara. We express our sincere condolences to those lost their lives in this inhuman attack, and we hope the injured heal soon. We share the heart felt sorrow with everyone touched by this tragedy in Ankara.
It is a universally accepted scientific defacto that the premeditated massacres caused by human beings conceive of the most debilitating traumas both psychologically and socially. Such massacres and wars’ impacts are transmitted throughout generations.
Unfortunately, we experience such traumatic incidents in our country for many years now and each time the psychological and social effects become more destructive. The chaotic situation in the country for so long now effects more and more people in the community. Moreover, the social discomposition is deepened recently and hate speech has become widespread. Over the mass media the discrimination have been legitimated by making “ my loss-your loss” argument. Thus, the negative individual and social impact of such traumatic incidents have become enduringly damaging. It should not be forgotten that each deathly attack diminishes our humanity and it has heavy toll on us both psychologically and socially.
Terrorist incidents effect not only the direct victims, but also their relatives, the witnesses, those participating in the aid efforts and whole population in the end. Each of them cause anxiety, anger, sadness, grief, loss of confidence, despair, hopelessness, estrangement and many other emotions that are difficult to cope with. As we have experienced in the latest terrorist attack in Ankara, the fact that it is done intentionally by humans increases these effects on community.
The intense and negative feelings arise in the aftermath of such terrorist incidents will cause social segregation and social conflict. In order to prevent this social segregation and social conflict and to manage the situation, it is important to develop mutual understanding and accept the enricher contributions from different social segments. In the case of morning and overcoming after the traumatic experiences, the negative effects on public mental health will be carried over from generation to generation.
To overcome and cope with such kind of social trauma requires social cohesion and social solidarity. The psychological research shows that, finding the perpatrators and suspending the responsible parties have significant contributions in public recovery. Funeral ceremonies and memorial events also help to ease the suffering, help the mourning process and prevent future chronic problems. Therefore, it is essential for public officials to facilitate these activities. At this stage it is critical that society and especially the politicians have to act sensitive and responsible in the messages conveyed to public. It is also important for politicians to show a peaceful attitude and put the appropriate policies in effect immediately. Media also has an important role in giving support to peace and social cohesion, stay away from the emphasis on supporting chaos and conflict.
As the Turkish Psychological Association, we are ready to support our people in overcoming the psychological and social effects of this latest traumatic experience. With this goal in mind, we have started to work in coordination with democratic mass organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and professional organizations. We hope to make a contribution to the recovery efforts, by providing acute and as well as long term period psychological services.