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    Tribune reports cases of electroshock being used in Turkey

    Hürriyet Haber
    28.09.2005 - 10:17 | Son Güncelleme:

    An article has appeared on the website of the International Herald Tribune by a New York Times writer called "Abuse of mentally ill in reported in Turkey", which documents shocking cases of abuse inside psychiatric hospitals in Turkey. The article reports that a human rights report due to be released on Wednesday includes cases of electroshock used as a form of punishment within the Turkish mental health care system. The report, which is due to be released in Istanbul today, is not of good timing as it comes just days before Turkey's EU accession talks are due to begin – scheduled for october 3.

    "The organisation called Mental Disability Rights International, an advocate based in Washington, is likely to complicate the EU talks because so many European officials are wary of letting Turkey join the Union and will use any evidence that the country falls short of European standards to argue against its membership," said the writer.

    The article also says that the group are using Turkey's accession to put pressure on the country to bring a quick end to the abuse.

    From the article: "We realized Turkey was a great opportunity for using that process to have some influence," said Eric Rosenthal, Mental Disability Rights International's founder, speaking by telephone from Istanbul. His organization has fought for more than a decade to improve mental health facilities around the world and has already used EU accession pressures to bring change in Eastern Europe.

    The article also states the report claims that 1930s style electroshock treatment, known as ECT, is being used in psychiatric hospitals without anesthesia, in Turkey on children.

     This form of treatment has been banned by the World Health Organization, which have also stated that this treatment should never be used on children in any form.

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