The impact of forced migration on mental health: A comparative study on posttraumatic stress among internally displaced and externally migrated Kurdish women.

Author(s): Cheka GÜLŞEN ; Jeroen KNIPSCHEER ; Rolf KLEBER


In Turkey, the large scale of internal displacement is caused by armed conflict that occurs because of the struggle of Kurds to obtain political recognition and rights in Turkey. As a result, many asylum requests were conducted in Europe and a massive wave of internal displacement took place in Turkey. Forced migration is known to influence mental health. This empirical study conducted with migrated Kurdish women (N = 1,127) both in the European Union (EU) and in Turkey aimed to explore the relationships between posttraumatic stress reactions, forced migration, and mental health status. Posttraumatic reactions were discovered to be highly related to mental health state. In addition, being internally displaced as well as having fled for war and oppression was significantly related to mental health status. The implications of these findings for posttraumatic stress theory and mental health professionals working with traumatized migrant populations are considered.

Tags: Turkey, Women, Forced migration, Armed conflict, Internal displacement, Traumatic life events, PTSD

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