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International Trauma Meeting Held in Istanbul

Last Update 18.07.2019

With its main theme "Social Trauma; Consequences and Coping Mechanisms", this year's International Psychological Trauma Meetings discussed the social reactions to different sexual orientations.

International Psychological Trauma Meetings, a yearly series of conferences co-hosted by an international committee including Norwegian Medical Association and Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, kicked off on Friday with a session moderated by Selçuk Candansayar, a professor of psychiatry at Gazi University.

During the 3-day conferences sessions, over 40 speakers from Turkish and international backgrounds held presentations on violence and its consequences; human reactions to oppression, control, poverty and deprivation; discrimination and exclusion due to sexual orientation differences; and refugees and the challenges they face.

The opening keynote was held by Dr. Umut Altunöz, Dr. Duygu Kaya and İdil Engindeniz from Galatasaray University who discussed how different sexual orientations are perceived by the society, what challenges LGBT face and how to prevent the hate speech against them.

Speakers also emphasized on the authorities' definition of heterosexuality as the "approved" and "must-be" gender which led to hate speech and crimes. Another underlining topic was transphobia which rose aggressively past year (265 transsexual individuals were reported battered in the last 12 months), compared to the total toll of violence cases (353) between 1970 and 2006.

Altunöz said media longtime utilized a "hate" discourse when reporting LGBT related cases. He remarked that media regenerated hatred towards LGBT people every time it framed them as "trouble-makers" and sex workers.

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