Turkish magazine by schizophrenia patients to be out soon
Eyüp Serbest – ISTANBULA special issue of a popular Turkish magazine, editorial content of which has been created jointly with schizophrenic patients of an Istanbul psychiatric hospital, will be delivered at the end of March.
Prepared in cooperation with the travel magazine Atlas, “Gündüz Atlası” aims to show that schizophrenia patients can and do lead normal lives.
The editorial content of the special issue has been prepared by schizophrenic patients who are undergoing rehabilitation at Gündüz Hospital, an institution at a psychiatric hospital located in Istanbul’s Bakırköy district.
The patients of Turgut Altuntaş, Müjgan Bulut, Filiz Demiroğlu, Baran Doğu, Özlem Ertan, Dilara Karakaş, Adem Ramazan Karataş, Turgut Köklü, Cengiz Sulu, Volkan Uruk, Serdar Uzcan, Gözde Ünlü and Ayşe Berna Yunusoğlu have worked for three months, receiving photograph and editorial training from Atlas magazine’s editorial team.
“Gündüz Atlası” is named after Gündüz Hospital and consists of 18 pages. Some of the topics covered by the magazine include “Nature and Man,” “Nature and Music” and “Nature and Poetry” as well as travel writings on Sapanca and Taraklı, two districts in the northwestern province of Sakarya known for their natural beauty.
“Our aim is to contribute to the prevention of the marginalization of people with psychiatric disorders. There is a prejudice against individuals with psychiatric disorders, especially the ones with schizophrenia, as they are called ‘crazy.’ However, this is a totally unfair stigmatization. Therefore, we wanted to create a social responsibility project to enlighten this stigmatization,” said Erhan Kurt, Bakırköy psychiatric hospital chief physician, speaking during a press conference on March 2.
Gözde Ünlü, a schizophrenic patient who contributed to the creation of Gündüz Atlası, shared her experiences during her treatment and what this project meant for her.
“I was born in Istanbul in 1975. I dropped out of Boğaziçi University’s biology department when I was freshman. In 2009, I came to the Bakırköy Psychiatric Hospital because I feared I was being chased. I was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and came to Gündüz Hospital in 2010 upon my doctor’s advice. I had not been working since 2008, but between 2011 and 2013, I had worked at a café in the hospital, within a sheltered workspace model. About three months ago, I received an invitation to join the Atlas magazine’s project. I found out that with this training that I could be able to improve my skills and writing. I understood that people can be successful by working. This amateur writing experience has been a successful and entertaining work for me and the fact that my piece has been published in the Atlas magazine is flattering and it excites me a lot that it will be published all across Turkey. Therefore I am very happy. This work is a success against stigmatization,” said Ünlü.
“Atlas magazine always worked the documentation of natural and cultural heritage and for raising awareness for their protection. We had the same purpose with ‘Gündüz Atlası.’ As part of the project, I was a guest at Gündüz Hospital. We, as the Gündüz Atlası team, spent many hours together, gathered around work and searching for ways to publish a good magazine. There, I saw once again that when the opportunity is provided, everybody can express themselves, produce work and contribute to the world. Treasures make us human and the willingness to go after them is common trait of all of us,” Atlas magazine Co-Editor Mustafa Türker Erşen said.