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Psychologist Taş: Immigrants feel threatened


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Psychologist Zafer Taş, who provides psychological support to immigrants living in Van, says that starting from the immigrants’ own country; He said that they faced abuse, violence and many other problems.

Turkey has been hosting refugees from many countries for many years. According to the official data announced by the Directorate of Migration Management, the total number of registered foreigners in Turkey is 4 million 990 thousand 663. The number of unregistered asylum seekers is unknown. Immigrants or asylum seekers are one of the most discussed issues of the country’s public opinion in recent years. Immigrants were at the center of the election discourse of many political parties, from the opposition to the ruling party, in the 14 May elections.

This situation leads to the targeting of immigrants, the rise of hate speech and even physical attacks from time to time. Immigrants are also affected psychologically by this picture. This; cause for concern and anxiety for immigrants fleeing war, oppression and economic problems.

The Association for the Hearing and Disabled in Van has been providing support to immigrants for a long time in many areas, especially psychological, legal and language. Psychologist Zafer Taş, who provides psychological support to immigrants within the association, stated that the discussion of immigrants as a political argument and the exclusion and targeting of immigrants from time to time cause fear and uneasiness in immigrants.

Psychologist Taş: Immigrants feel threatened - psikolog gocmenler tehlikede hissediyor 1 1024x683 1

‘They are also exposed to abuse and torture on the way of migration’

Zafer Taş noted that the reasons forcing immigrants to migrate are in themselves a cause of trauma. Taş said that the immigrants left their countries due to war conditions, severe economic problems or the desire for a better life. Noting that these are a cause of trauma in and of themselves, Taş stated that immigrants can face incidents such as abuse and torture on the way. Taş said, “Even if they are not exposed directly, there may be murders and other violent incidents that they witness. When he comes here, the person experiences a certain psychological damage and he must overcome it with the support of an expert.”

‘Immigrants feel traumatized’

The problems experienced by immigrants are not limited to the ones they experience in their countries and migration routes. Here, too, they are often mistreated and excluded. Taş, drawing attention to this situation, stated that the prejudice against them leads to isolation. Stating, “Their problems do not end here,” Taş said that due to cultural differences, they come together with people with whom they have shared ‘destiny’ and ‘culture’ as much as possible. They think that immigrants do not feel alone in this way, but that people will approach them with prejudice by having trouble adapting outside.

Taş said, “They feel traumatized. This is more predominant for adolescents and women. Of course, we also have difficulties professionally. There is a language problem, we are consulting through an interpreter. There is also the issue of trust. The street view makes them uneasy about self-disclosure. However, when they gains confidence after a few sessions, the conditions for a healthy therapy are formed.”

‘Women are abused here too’

Taş emphasized that immigrants generally face many problems, but women and children are the ones who have the most difficulties. Stating that women’s voices are not heard, Taş said, “There are women who are forced into marriage and are exposed to domestic violence. Especially in Afghanistan, women are in the background. When war is added to this, a worse situation arises,” he said. Stating that they observe that women do not have a healthy psychology, Taş said, “In fact, the treatment of women who come here with their spouses or other relatives can continue systematically here as well. Women’s voices are not heard. As such, this situation leads to more abuse of women.”

‘Political arguments are a threat to immigrants’

According to Taş, the use of the immigrant phenomenon as a material by political parties can cause some mental problems and complicate the adaptation processes. Stating that they supports the point of view of the party that people love, Taş emphasized that this situation causes anxiety, anxiety and even anxiety among immigrants.

Stating that he is also worried about the future, Taş said, “Using it as a political argument or trump card becomes a tool of threat for immigrants. It causes uneasiness when watching TV or looking at the phone and seeing a negative broadcast about them. Even past traumas can be shaken. There may also be consequences such as anger problems and mood changes. There is no healthy communication. As such, it becomes anti-social.”

‘Negative attitude towards immigrants should disappear’

Emphasizing that immigrants who go through difficult processes should be supported psychologically, Taş stated that the adaptation problem of immigrants who are not in a healthy mood also aggravates. Taş said, “On the other hand, psychological problems can cause problems both anatomically and spiritually. It is necessary to help immigrants who are already going through a difficult process in a way that minimizes their adaptation process,” he added.

Stating that they should be sensitive to this as a humanitarian, Taş said, “The support they will receive from the environment is very important. Negative attitudes towards them in the market and on the street should disappear. If this happens, people can adapt faster and get over their trauma more easily,” he said.

‘I was mentally hit’

An Afghan woman, who had to leave her country due to the pressure of the Taliban about a year ago, emphasized that she suffered a psychological blow both in her country and on her migration routes. The Afghan woman summarized the process as follows: “I came here illegally, leaving my country due to the pressures of the Taliban. Illegal roads are already difficult, but more difficult for women. I was in a very bad state psychologically. I was mentally hit. Here, I went to an institution to learn to read and write and received psychological support. This made me feel unwell. I’m getting used to it slowly.”

Serhat News

Translator :Akif Coşkun

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Psychologist Taş: Immigrants feel threatened

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