International Society of Political Psychology

Conference Abstracts

Keynote Address by Vamik Volkan

(Session Organizer) Philippa Kerr, University of KwaZulu-Natal; (Chair) Delia Dumitrescu, Universite de Montreal; (Chair) Lene Aaroe, Department of Political Science, Uni

Conference: ISPP 2011
Affiliation: University of KwaZulu-Natal
Research Area: ISPP 34th Annual Scientific Meeting

Political Psychology and its Application to Identity Issues in Turkey

In 2011 Turkey finds itself a strong entity in the Middle East that enjoys increased   influence on international affairs and economic growth, while making new efforts toward further democratization. Turkey is also a place where more than 30,000 persons died during the last decades due to terrorism and the governments’ response to it. This means that millions of persons in Turkey are still struggling with complicated mourning that continues to inflame their ethnic identities. There have been many approaches to solving the so-called “Kurdish issue” in Turkey. This speech will describe a psychopolitical one. For the past three years the author had taken part in a project that brings together influential Turkish citizens of Turkish and Kurdish origin and from different political and religious backgrounds for a series of dialogues. The ideas gleaned from these dialogues—all aiming for a more peaceful environment in Turkey—have been made available to the Turkish President as well as to the public.