Turkish sign language

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Thu Mar 1 14:14:15 UTC 2007

Omniglot - the blog

Turk Isaret Dili (Turkish Sign language)

Posted the 28th of February, 2007 by Simon in Language, Sign language

Turkish Sign Language (TID) dates back to the Ottoman period. Between the
16th and 18th centuries there was apparently a large group of deaf people
in the Ottoman palace who helped officials in secret gatherings and
carried out various other official and diplomatic tasks. The first school
for the deaf in Turkey, the Yildiz Deaf School in Istanbul, was set up in
1902. A second deaf school was later opened in Izmir. These schools taught
both sign language and Turkish. In 1953 the Turkish Ministry of Education
banned the teaching of sign language in deaf schools in order to promote
oral education, a policy promoted by a German academic, who believed that
teaching sign language would slow down the learning of spoken language.
Since then deaf children in Turkey have learnt sign language from their
peers. As a result, there is considerable variation in individual signs
and grammar throughout Turkey.

According to an article on Todays Zaman, there are plans to unify sign
language in Turkey. The Prime Ministry Administration on Disabled People
and the Turkish Language Institute, Turkish Scientific and Technical
Council (TBITAK) are going to undertake a two-year research project to set
up a unified national Turkish Sign Language System which will be taught in
deaf schools. You can see an example of Turkish Sign Language in action
here:  http://turkisaretdili.ku.edu.tr/



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