Turkish museums to introduce sign language and Braille

Major Istanbul attractions to increase provision for visually and hearing-impaired visitors, tourism chief says.

Turkish museums to introduce sign language and Braille

World Bulletin / News Desk

Services for visually and hearing-impaired people will be increased at key Istanbul museums next year, the head of the country’s largest travel agency body claimed on Tuesday.

"In 2016, we will make our guides use sign language for hearing-impaired people and [Braille] alphabet for visually impaired people,” Basaran Ulusoy, president of the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies, told reporters.

Ulusoy was speaking in the Istanbul Archeology Museums near Topkapi Palace in the historic Sultanahmet district before the start of Turkey's Tourism Week, which runs between April 15 and 22.

“We have some video devices which help hearing impaired people (visiting the Archeology Museums),” Ulusoy said.

Embossed brochures for visually impaired visitors are also available at the museum.

According to Ulusoy, the project will be developed in the coming days and will be available at other museums like Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. Each museum hosts around over 5 million visitors annually.

Speaking at the conference, Turkish pop music mega star Ajda Pekkan lent her backing to the project:

“In order to protect our history, we demand equal and comfortable access to these important places. I am very happy to cooperate with TURSAB to help hearing-impaired people visit our museums comfortably,” she said.

Ulusoy added that plans were being made to create an “appointment system” to cut massive waiting times at key Istanbul attractions.

The number of tourists visiting Turkey reached 42 million in 2014. “We expect to host around 43 million people in our country this year,” Ulusoy added.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 14 Nisan 2015, 15:38