National sign language: Turkish Sign Language, TID (Turkish “Türk İşaret Dili”).
How many people use TID : Information not available.
Do exist descriptions of TID? Some linguistic studies, as well as several dictionaries.
Is the TID legally recognised? TID? No.
Are there schools for the deaf in the country? Many. First school: 1891.
Bilingual education for the deaf available? No.
Are there deaf associations? Many.
Are there certified sign language interpreters? Yes.
UN-Convention and its Protocol already signed and ratified? The Protocol is still to be ratified.
The national sign language is called in Turkish türk işaret dili, TID, literally "Turkish Sign Language. The number of its users is not known. According to the Census 2000 around 89,000 hearing-impaired people lived in the country.
There are many linguistic studies of the TID (see Publications related to the TID, AASL Projekt). 1995 hat das Bildungsministerium ein TID-Wörterbuch (s. MEB 1995) publiziert. In Internet befinden sich weitere Wörterbucher und TID-Vokabelsammlungen (s. Liste unten). Bisher ist keine umfassende Grammatikstudie veröffentlicht worden.
Currently, a TID-research program is running at Koç Üniversitesi, in Istanbul.
The TID has not been officially recognized. Since 2005, however, in various laws there are mentions on the rights of deaf people to communicate in sign language (see Wikipedia, “Legal recognition of sign languages").
There are many deaf associations in the country. At the national level they are coordinated by the National Deaf Federation of Turkey, the TİENM (Türkiye İşitme Engelliler Milli Federasyonu), which represents the country in the World Federation of the Deaf.
16. Jhr: Between the 16th and the 20th centuries, a variety of different tasks in the Ottoman court were assigned to deaf people. Their sign language was also often used as a means of communication by the Sultan and his hearing servants (see Miles 2009).
1891: That year was opened a school for the deaf in Istanbul (then called Constantinople) (The Silent Worker, 1898). It was a day-school, attended by about 50 children. The school principal was Prof. H.R. de Grati. In the school was followed the so called "combined method". While Prof. de Grati taught orally, a Turkish-Armenian deaf teacher named H. Pekmezian was in charge of the manual teaching.
1902: A second school for the deaf is opened in Istanbul: the Yildiz School for the Deaf (“General information on TID and the Turkish deaf population”).
1910 (?): A school for the Armenian deaf is funded in Marsovan city (called "Merzifon" in Turkish) (Lloyd 1911).
1911: All private secretaries of the ministers in the Ottoman government were deaf. The communication between the ministers and their secretaries was done by means of signs. That was reported by a German writer, Sigmund Muenz, who visited Constantinople in that year (The Silent Worker, 1911).
ca. 1950: the use of sign language is forbidden in the schools for the deaf (see TID, “General information...)".
1964: the National Federation of the Deaf (TİEMF) is founded.
According to testimonies left by several European travelers, between the 16th and the beginnings of the 20th centuries there were deaf servants in the Ottoman courts (see Miles, 2000). Those servants were trained and educated by special institutions. This tradition may have had no continuity, however, after the republican revolution leaded by Kemal Atatürk by the 1920s, when the Ottoman courts were eliminated.
The first schools for the deaf -according to Western patterns- were founded toward the end of the 19th century (according other sources, that happened later, at the beginning of the 20th century). The first schools followed the so-called combined method. This fact can be interpreted as evidence of a sign-tolerant environment in the country in that time. That situation changed radically in the early 1950s, when the oral method begun to be used and signs were banned from schools (s. “General information on TID...).
UN-Convention: The country signed the Convention and ratified it on September 28th, 2009. The Protocol has still not been ratified (UN-Enable).
Availability of easy-to-read-texts: no information available.
Accesible media: no information available.
Sign language interpreters: There are certified sign language interpreters in Turkey.
The Ministry for Familie and Social Affairs (Aile ve Sosyal Politikalar Bakanlığı) begun in 2012 a program for the certification of TID interpreters.
© Deaf-atlas, 2013