On This Day … 29 September

People (Births)

  • 1934 – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Hungarian-American psychologist and academic.

People (Deaths)

  • 2007 – Yıldırım Aktuna, Turkish psychiatrist and politician, Turkish Minister of Health (b. 1930).

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Hungarian: Csíkszentmihályi Mihály, born 29 September 1934) is a Hungarian-American psychologist.

He recognised and named the psychological concept of flow, a highly focused mental state conducive to productivity. He is the Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Management at Claremont Graduate University. He is the former head of the department of psychology at the University of Chicago and of the department of sociology and anthropology at Lake Forest College.

Yıldırım Aktuna

Yıldırım Aktuna (1930 to 29 September 2007) was a Turkish psychiatrist, politician, district mayor and government minister in a number of cabinets.

Military Career

His first post was chief physician officer of the 26th Brigade at the 66th Army Division. After completing a one-year English language course at the Army Language School in Ankara, Aktuna was sent to the United States, where he attended advanced education in general medicine at the Brooke Army Medical Center in Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio between 1958-1959.

Having returned home, Aktuna specialised in neuropsychiatry at the Gülhane Military Medical Academy in Ankara, finishing in 1962. He then served in the army as medical officer at various places in Turkey. Between 1967-1989, he was lecturer at the Kabul Military Hospital in Afghanistan. In 1970, he retired from the Turkish Army in the rank of a lieutenant colonel.

Civil Service

Switched over to civil service, he firstly was appointed Assistant Chief Physician at the Psychology Clinic of Şişli Children’s Hospital in Istanbul. He later became the chief of that clinic.

Between 1972-1973, Aktuna sojourned in Austria to pursue advanced studies in neurology and electroencephalography (EEG) at the Neurological Clinic of the University of Vienna.

In 1979, Yıldırım Aktuna was appointed Chief Physician of the Bakırköy Psychiatric Hospital in Istanbul, the largest of its art in the country. He modernised the hospital, and devoted himself to raise consciousness for public mental health and to develop contemporary policies on this subject. He established in 1983 an alcohol and drug rehabilitation centre within this hospital, the first facility in Turkey to conduct medical and psychotherapeutic treatment and research for dependency on psychoactive substances as well. For these activities, he was honoured several times by various organisations.

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