645 suicides prevented over Istanbul bridges in 3 years

Istanbul police's 'negotiation team' works to discourage those attempting off bridges in Istanbul

645 suicides prevented over Istanbul bridges in 3 years

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkish police have saved 645 people from jumping off the bridges in Istanbul over the last three years, according to security sources.

In 2015, Istanbul’s Security Directorate set up a “negotiation team,” affiliated to the police department, responsible for the bridges in the city and to prevent the suicide attempts over July 15 Martyrs' Bridge, Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge and Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge.

Comprising of 24 police officers, the team received training on psychology, crisis communication, persuasion, body language and anger control.

Mehmet Ali Demir, a team member, said their first objective is to get to know the person who is attempting suicide.

Demir said they set a negotiation method in accordance with the information obtained through background checks.

“First of all, we disperse the curious eyes around at the scene. We do not get into any physical contact with the person being negotiated for up to one and a half hour,” Saadettin Cakir, another team member, told Anadolu Agency.

Cakir said a youth, whom he once saved from committing suicide, came with his university diploma to thank him.

“A university student was hanging down from bridge, holding the safety rails. I noticed that his arms were tired and sliding down gradually during the negotiation.

“When I asked him, 'Do you want me to pull you up?', he replied, ‘Save me, brother.’ At that moment I [...] pulled him up,” Cakir said.

Fikret Erdogan, another police officer, said it is vitally important to determine the reason leading to the suicide attempt.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 22 Temmuz 2018, 17:11