Prof. Tarhan mentioned the importance of sports in overcoming the traumatic effect of the earthquake

Prof. Tarhan said, "The earthquake disaster is like a small doomsday. It affected 11 provinces. We can say that it is the longest fault line and the biggest natural disaster we have seen in our history. Such phenomenon has had a psychological trauma effect on the society.".

President of Üsküdar University Prof. Nevzat Tarhan drew attention to the one-month period to eliminate the traumatic effect of the earthquake, which he described as "the little doomsday", and emphasized that normalization, including sports activities, should be returned to prevent the trauma from becoming chronic.

The earthquakes centered in Kahramanmaraş, which shook the whole of Türkiye and affected 11 provinces, not only caused material and moral damages, but also created a psychological trauma in the earthquake victims and the society.

AA correspondent interviewed President of Üsküdar University, psychiatrist and neuropsychologist Prof. Nevzat Tarhan.

Referring to the psychological impact of the earthquake disaster on both the earthquake victims and the whole society, Tarhan said, "The earthquake disaster actually affected 11 provinces. It is a social trauma. It has caused both individual trauma and social trauma. It seems like it will also have a dimension of cultural trauma. Now, there is a possibility that our lives will change from now on, like before the earthquake or after the earthquake.".

Underlining the need to restructure many things after this earthquake, Tarhan said, "The life itself, the existence... Lessons will be learned about this earthquake. At the moment, the critical period for the earthquake is two weeks.  If the period when the grieve is experienced intensely exceeds 6 weeks, it is accepted as complicated grieve. It's been three weeks since the earthquake happened. That's why we need to debrief the earthquake and look ahead with the lessons we can take from it.".

"It is also scientifically recommended to normalize"

Prof. Nevzat Tarhan reminded the Turkish society's interest in football, and evaluated that the league matches, which were postponed after the earthquake, will start again on 3-4 March.

Stating that this time is equal to one month after the earthquake, Tarhan continued as follows:

“I think there is a six-week period for that region, but it is reasonable to start after four weeks. Because it is now scientifically recommended to return to normalization after two weeks. If we do not normalize as society and social life is not normalized, it will turn into a complex grieve. In other words, it turns into a pathological grieve. That mourning reaction causes disability because it is constantly experienced in life. In other words, it negatively affects people's work efficiency, socialization and family life. For example, starting education in primary and secondary schools two weeks later. I think that was a right thing. However, sports, of course, also a bit of fun because it also has a dimension of entertainment, it rightly awakens a sense of guilt in people by thinking 'How can we do sports when so many people are affected’. Therefore, before starting sports, it is necessary to express our condolences, especially with a banner, in these first matches. For example, it is important to have Fatiha recited. This can be done in matches. You make thousands of people pray for our people. Teams can also donate a portion of their income. With such gestures, a transition to normalization can be made. Therefore, it should not be delayed any longer. Otherwise, we make the trauma chronic. We always say that trauma should be reduced, its memory should be kept alive, but not mummified. It should not be lived as it is. It is even true for that region. Thus, let alone the rest of Türkiye, which has been subjected to chain trauma, it applies to that region as well. There are things in life that a person cannot control, power or change. So is natural disaster. They are events that we cannot afford, cannot change, and cannot control. We have to accept such an event and move on with life. We will accept. Of course, why questions are a different case.".

The healing effect of football

Explaining that the league started with a reasonable timing and that the March 3-4 decision of the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) was appropriate, Tarhan emphasized the healing effect of football on the psychological destruction caused by the earthquake and said "For example, in the earthquake, a child came out from under the debris wearing a Fenerbahçe jersey. After all, life goes on. The earthquake is 24 hours. There are still people living here. The televisions here, day and night, constantly give new news. There is new information. People are looking for the guilty. They judge, 'Why?' they ask. This is an opportunity for people to say, 'Stop, think, start over'.".

Nevzat Tarhan made remarks on whether sports have a healing power in such disasters, "If a person feels that sports will relieve them in such a situation, they should be interested in sports in the normal process. If a relative has passed away, if they feel guilty, it may take a little more time. There is a time for normalization up to eight weeks. Between four weeks and eight weeks. However, after eight weeks, that person has to normalize too. I mean, people forbid even hugging their child, they think 'How can I do this when he's under the ground?'. This situation should not exceed eight weeks. So does sports. Four weeks, if the person is very affected, you can increase it to eight weeks. After eight weeks, life should be back to normal.".

Arguing that the belief system in Türkiye perceives the earthquake not as a punishment, but as a divine warning, Tarhan said, "There is an example of Mevlana. If a sheep leaves the herd while the herd is going, the shepherd throws a stone at it. The reason for throwing a stone is not to hurt the sheep, to injure it. He does it so that the wolves do not catch it, so that the sheep does not leave the herd, or goes in other way. Is there such a divinely warning to this phenomenon? Let them ask this question. It is not one of the teachings of our religion. Christianity sees these events as punishments, however, we see them as warnings. We need to see it this way.".

Explaining that everyone will take some notes about this earthquake, Tarhan said, "It cannot be lived with an earthquake. Some say, 'Live with an earthquake.’. I mean, you cannot live like an earthquake will happen at any moment. You take precautions about the earthquake, then it is important to take precautions against the negative. You target the positive and live that way. Thus, we will take precautions as if there will be an earthquake and live as if it will not happen. If we do not do this, our lives will be turned upside down. We will fall into depression; our health will be disrupted.".

Nevzat Tarhan also touched upon the aid activities of the big sports clubs for the earthquake victims, and he concluded his speech "Everyone did something in their own way. Since the sports clubs are in the spotlight, the society expects a higher level of sacrifice.".