February 6, 2023

Girne Municipality in cooperation with the Özyalçın Group of Companies and contributions from the Cyprus Foundation for the Hearing and Speech Impaired (KIKEV), arranged a basic level Turkish sign-language course between 19th July and 23rd August 2022. The course was held at the Girne Municipality Social Life Centre with the slogan “Let love be our language and our fingers be your voice”. Attendees who completed the 30 hours-long course were issued with certificates.

Girne Mayor Nidai Güngördü, presented Özyalçın Group of Company Directors Yağmur and Yaprak Özyalçın, KIKEV Board of Trustees Chairperson Bahire Doğru and Turkish sign-language instructor and translator Dr. Aslı Önay Akçay each, with plaques of appreciation.

Güngördü: “It was an exemplary project”

The Mayor stressed the importance of an all inclusive policy towards citizens without discrimination and said they were working towards that goal.

He had been very excited about this project and considered it an important asset to serve and communicate with individuals who had hearing difficulties, under equal conditions.

Güngördü said a very worthwhile project had been completed by the participants of the course, the managers of the Özyalçın Group of Companies as sponsors, the managers of KIKEV and the trainer Aslı Önay Akçay. He emphasised that as sponsors of such a meaningful project the Özyalçın Group of Companies had set an example to all business people.

He said: “We are very happy to have such responsive business people in the city. I hope more business people will come forward to support such socially responsible projects. The Özyalçın family have wholeheartedly responded to a very important issue not only in our Municipality but also generally in Cyprus”.

Finishing, he expressed his thanks to everyone who had contributed to running the course, the trainees and the employees at the Municipality Social Life centre.

Doğru: “We are aiming at impediment free communication”

KIKEV Board of Trustees Chairperson Bahire Doğru pointed out that KIKEV had implemented social and communal projects since the day it was established and said that the foundation continued its efforts to ensure correct and unhindered communication in the sign language. On behalf of the KIKEV Board of Trustees, she thanked Girne Municipality and Özyalçın Group of Companies for contributing to the realisation of the course and their social awareness. She also thanked the course instructor, Aslı Önay Akçay as well as the trainees who had attended the course and were supporting unimpeded communication.

She said: “Girne Municipality has been doing some good work for an unimpeded city and has proven it in the best possible way by wholeheartedly cooperating to hold the Turkish Sign Language Course here. Our aim is to contribute for the creation of impediment-free cities and country. In this context, I say there is no obstacle that can’t be overcome if there is support”.

The Özyalçıns: “Investment in people is the most important investment”.

Özyalçın Group Directors Yaprak and  Yağmur Özyalçın also expressed their satisfaction in bringing the project to life together with the other institutions.

They were happy to ease the lives of hearing-impaired individuals and enable them to express themselves in better and independent ways. They felt elated that families of hearing impaired individuals and other responsive persons who had attended the course were leading the way and aiding the many disadvantaged. They would continue to contribute to pioneering work in the field of social responsibility and raise awareness in  society for an impediment free city. They stressed that they were an institution that believed in the importance of continuous education and development.

The Directors also mentioned the positive contribution of the courses to society and  employees held at the Girne Municipality Social Life Centre. They said: “We know that the most important investment is the investment in people and we continue to work in that direction. Together with our partners we will advance along our social responsibility projects. We hope to set an example to other institutions and organisations and that efforts in this direction will multiply”.

Source (Turkish): Girne Muniocipality

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