Methodological Challenges in the Study of Forced Displacement and Mental Health in Turkey

Author/s: A. Tamer Aker, Esra Işık

DOI: 10.12738/mejrs.2017.2.2.0111

Year: 2017 Vol: 2 Number: 2

Abstract

Turkish mental health professionals have faced practical and methodological challenges regarding two major long-term forced displacement management issues over the past two decades. The first one of these issues is internal and relates to internally displaced persons (IDPs), which, in this case, refers to the Kurdish population in Turkey. The second is external and refers to the incoming movement of refugees from Syria since 2011. Considering how forced displacement carries not only political, legal, and socio-economic ramifications, but also negative physical and psychological health effects, research on the mental health of forced migrants is a vital issue that needs to be addressed. Yet, assessing the mental health condition of displaced populations is not an unequivocal task. Both of the aforementioned displacement management issues have their own complexities that present difficulties to researchers and to those working on direct intervention. In this paper, we discuss these complexities and the methodological challenges that Turkish mental health professionals have faced regarding both the Kurdish IDPs in Turkey and the incoming Syrian refugees.

Keywords
Mental health, Forced displacement, Syrians, Turkey, Methodology

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