Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Shell shocked

1. Suffering from shell shock.
2. Stunned, distressed, or exhausted from a prolonged trauma or an unexpected difficulty.
--The American Heritage Dictionary

While I realize this is a term derived from combat, I think it is entirely fitting to describe how I, and much of Turkey, feel about the events of this past month. Let me first recap what events I'm referring to, in case you've been hiding from the chaos of the world, avoid the news altogether, or have some other legitimate excuse for not knowing:

July 9, Wednesday: Shooting attack outside of US Consulate General, Istanbul
Death toll: 6 (3 policemen, 3 perpetrators)

July 14, Monday: Ergenekon indictment made public
Brief: 2,455-page document charging the Ergenekon crime network of attempting to overthrow the current and former governments through various illegal activities, including assassinations of high-level officials, grenade attacks and social engineering

July 27, Sunday: Dual bombings on shopping street, Istanbul
Death toll: 17, including 5 children
Injuries: 150

July 30, Wednesday: Constitutional Court gives verdict in closure case on ruling party
Brief: The case was filed against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) back in March by the chief prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals on charges that the party had become a focal point of anti-secular activities, leaving the political and economic arenas in limbo. While the court agreed that the party had engaged in anti-secular activities, it decided that the actions were not serious enough to justify closure, instead ruling that half of the party's Treasury funding be cut.

I don't feel as if I'm absorbing these events anymore, processing them. I have this sense of detachment in which everything has taken on a surreal tinge. The conspiracy theories and counter-conspiracy theories, the scapegoating. . . It exhausts the mind. In seeking to understand the inner workings of this country, I find myself more and more confused, not knowing what or who to believe.

1 comment:

Mambinki said...

HI Maggie!

It may be interesting (or totally depressing) for you to look into information on Historical Trauma, which is an expansion of the diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Historical Trauma is when traumatic stress impacts an entire culture due to a traumatic event(s) such as war, genocide, etc. Some of the observed conditions of historical trauma include avoidance, hyper-awareness, increased anxiety... and can increase the likelihood of abuse within the culture and other maladaptive reactions.

I thought of historical trauma reading what you wrote: "I don't feel as if I'm absorbing the events anymore" which is precisely right in regards to PTSD (or being 'shell shocked') as people can really only take in so much.

Anyway most of the research on that subject has been in Cambodia and with Native American tribes, but it may be interesting given the current events in Turkey.

I hope you stay safe and that these violence events stop soon.

Peace on Earth!

Oh and I'm so glad to see your blog!!!