This book has been prepared to publicize the results of the “Integration of People Experience Trauma after Terrorist Attacks into Modern Society” workshop which was held on April 27–28, 2006 in Ankara, Turkey, under the sponsorship of NATO within the framework of 2006 Annual Education and Training Activities of the Center of Excellence Defence Against Terrorism (COE-DAT).
The international workshop aimed to bring together academics and experts to develop a concept on the treatment of traumas and depression caused by terrorist attacks and the integration of the victims into society.
Even though the topic of the workshop is closely related to psychology, at the same time it has strong links with social and economic matters. Therefore, the psychological impact of trauma together with sociological and economic impacts are analyzed in the workshop and these analyses are reflected in this book.
Seventeen key speakers from 10 different countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Israel, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Turkey, UK, USA) and 12 participants from 8 different countries (Albania, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Macedonia, Turkey) attended the workshop. The workshop attracted very much attention, not only from Turkish academics, but also from the international academics who participated. After the workshop, all participants had the opportunity to visit the Turkish General Staff (TGS) Rehabilitation Center to see the victims of terror in Turkey.
This book is composed of the articles of the academicians who participated in the workshop. The presentations of these academicians were about overcoming the harmful effects of trauma caused by terrorist attacks and sustaining the integration of traumatized people into society. The book has 4 main sections: general framework, psychological impacts, sociological impacts and economic impacts.
In the general framework section, Dr. Suat BEGEÇ, who is co-director of the workshop, explains how to prevent the causes of terrorism and to decrease the impact of terrorism and also the rights of terror victims which are provided by Turkish Army.
In the section concerning psychological impacts, readers will find 11 articles. In the first article, Prof. Dragica KOZARIC-KOVACIC from Croatia defines Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after terrorist attacks. She also puts forward the diagnosis of PTSD and presents the results of research on Croatian war veterans.
The second academician from Croatia, Dr. Nela PIVAC, touches on the symptoms of PTSD and tries to answer the question if the neurobiology of PTSD might improve the understanding and treatment of PTSD or not. Lastly, she shares her review of results related to biomarkers in Croatian war veterans with combat related PTSD.
In the third article, Dr. Louis JEHEL examines the predictive factors of a pathological evolution and useful questionnaires and clinical characteristics to identify subjects with a higher risk of PTSD and determines a health care strategy according to these criteria.
Dr. Elke GERAERTS brings up the common argument according to the results of the study made on 121 Croatian war veterans if traumatic experiences are processed and remembered in a qualitatively different way from neutral events or not.
Psychological responses to disasters such as terrorist attacks and some biological parameters in PTSD are examined by Asst Prof. Ali BOZKURT in his paper.
Prof. Vassily YASTREBOV, in his article, tries to classify of the consequences of PTSD of terrorism victims at individual and social levels and from an economic point of view. He presents a study on various terrorist acts committed in Russia from 1994 till 2005.
Prof. ECHEBURUA from Spain outlines ways (treatment guidelines) to effectively deal with the survivors of terrorism and with the family members of those injured or killed in terrorist attacks.
Prof. Richard McNALLY, in his article, defines what the psychological debriefing is. He tries to provide a review of the evidence bearing on the efficacy of debriefing and a survey on emerging alternatives to this widely used method of crisis intervention.
Israeli Dr. Irit MERETYK's paper is about what the therapeutic interventions in acute stress reactions after terrorist attacks are and she shares the Israeli experience based on observations in Rambam Medical Center.
Michael ROY's paper addresses the lessons learned from the 9/11 attacks in order to be better prepared for future terrorist acts and the psychological effects and physical consequences of them.
The Bulgarian academician, Dr. PARASHKEVOV refers to his personnel observations from Bulgarian missions in Iraq (6 months) and Afghanistan (1 year) and the results of a study of a group of 110 member of the peacekeeping contingent in Iraq who experienced a terrorist attack. He also lists the factors which affect the behavior and the psychological health of the servicemen in the missions.
Reader will find three papers in the sociological impacts section. Dr. James FOREST examines the findings of several studies on the economic and psychological impact of the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, DC. He analyses common themes and important similarities and differences among societies in preparing their communities for future terrorist attacks.
In his paper, Mr. James DINGLEY explains socio-economic affects of terrorist attacks, and presents examinations on individual and society. He also lays out economic-political costs of terrorism to understand terrorist tactics and strategy.
Professor in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Kamil YAZICIOĞLU, defines what rehabilitation is, methods of reintegration of handicapped and physical rehabilitation of the traumatized people. He also shares the results of research on the differential effects of socio-demographic characteristics, illness process and type of social support on the quality of life levels on 79 veterans.
In the section dealing with economic impacts of trauma there are two papers. One of them is the paper of Prof. MURSHED from UK which explains transnational terrorism, rational choice approaches and tries to develop solution proposals.
Lastly, Prof. Rafi ELDOR analyzes the impact of 473 terror attacks on various economic sectors in Israel. He tries to answer the question whether the economic impact of terrorism is purely a macroeconomic phenomenon affecting the entire economy or if its impact is concentrated in certain industries, leaving some sectors unaffected and perhaps even benefiting others.
Since how to counter or combat terrorism is still disputed, the world has to learn how to live with terrorism, and how to diminish its harmful effects on both individuals and society. No matter how important it is to prevent the causes of terrorism, in the struggle against it, it is also important to decrease its impact. In this book, what we focus on is how to deal with the impact of terrorism. Holding the workshop in a country like Turkey, which has suffered from terrorism for approximately 30 years, was meaningful, but I hope it was also fruitful. In this respect I hope this book will be an international guide to facilitate the integration of terror victims into society and may be beneficial for academicians, government officials and anyone interested in this area.
Dr. Suat BEGEÇ, COE-DAT, Ankara