Trauma and Rehabilitation 2003 Report

  1. Aims of the project


  1. Continue operating the Torture Rehabilitation Centre for psychological and physical rehabilitation of torture victims. 
  2.  Legal assistance to victims of serious human rights violations at no costs to ensure criminal prosecution of state offenders, developing strategies and perspectives to ensure criminal prosecution, arranging for therapies and social integration help, information and education of the public, training of competent persons and offering seminars and conferences on the topic.
  3. To bring the Turkish legal system into compliance with human rights standards.


2- Assistance provided at TOHAV Torture Rehabilitation Centre


The torture rehabilitation centre for post traumatic, physical and mental trauma, TOHAV, is a co-ordination and reference centre aiming at guaranteeing the availability of therapies to persons who have been exposed to state-induced violence.  With each new admission, socio-demographic information is obtained on the applicant, the torture suffered, and experiences, if any, in prison.  Our treatment programme is set up based on a pre-diagnosis derived from the results of a physical examination upon admission of the patient.  Thereafter the diagnosis is completed using other necessary examination methods such as laboratory tests, radiological examinations and specialist examinations.  Finally, under the co-ordination of the doctor in charge of the centre, an individual therapy programme is elaborated and applied for each patient.  One of the centre's team of experts is a neurologist, who contributes to the examination and therapy programme.  If initial examinations show symptoms of psychological trauma, the patient is also integrated in the psychiatric treatment programme.  A conversation with the psychologist and the psychiatrist is held after the initial examination in order to evaluate the emotional state of the patient.  Physical therapy is often combined with physiotherapy and medication.  Since 2003, a substantial part of the physiotherapy treatment has been provided at the centre itself.

A group acting through interdisciplinary co-operation assists in the entire healing process of the patient: medical specialists, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, lawyers, persons of reference important to the victim and, if possible, including the victim's family members and relatives.

Furthermore, TOHAV works in accordance with the UN guidelines of the «Istanbul Protocol» (Manual on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment). 

On the basis of the initial findings and depending on the patients' condition, psychological and psychiatric assistance is provided immediately.  In the event of chronic cases, psychotherapeutical steps are determined once the patients' consent has been obtained.  Therapy may include «psychological guidance», behavioural therapy, cognitive therapy and pharmaco-therapy.

A social worker takes part in the initial talks with the patients, finds out about their social circumstances and needs, and sees to the course of therapy.  She is an important bridge between the patients and the medical doctors/therapists.  She accompanies the patients during therapy, especially if surgery is planned, and manages their appointments.  Whenever necessary, the social worker will arrange for help from other institutions or will help with arrangements for employment.  

Services in basic specialities made available to the patients are: physiotherapy and rehabilitation, urology, internal medicine, neurology, ENT diseases, gynaecology, general surgery, neurosurgery, dentistry, orthopaedics, cardiology, ophthalmology and plastic surgery.  During consultations,