in: New Researches New Ideas On Social Sciences, Eyüp Sarıtaş, Editor, Trafford Publishing , Bloomington Indiana, pp.269-284, 2017
Sign Language is a visual language used by the deaf and hard of hearings to communicate with each other and hearing people through gesture and facial expression, body movements. Sign language is a system of being in integration, in coherence in itself, not the sum of the successive signs. It is not a second language, but a mother tongue. Until now, there has been no common sign language to ensure communication. Each country has its own sign language: Langue des signes française (LSF) in France, American sign language (ASL) in USA, British sign language (BSL) in UK, Deutsche Gebärdenspache (DGS) in Germany, Turkish Sign Language (TİD) in Turkey. Furthermore, “International Sign” that is used to facilitate communication at the international meetings and organizations such as Word Federation of the Deaf (WFD) and Deaflympics, is not a natural language. To be more precise, it is not considered as a language.
Each sign language has its own grammatical structure and function. In many regions in Turkey, different sign languages i.e., dialects are spoken. Despite of having common words and concepts, there are big differences among these dialects that you can not ignore it. The reason is that the sign language has not been taken into consideration for years.
In this descriptive study, the main emphasis is to put on explaining the place of the sign language in Turkey. This study offers an overview on Turkish sign language and the deaf community. Therefore, statistical data and official status of the deaf are discussed at first and the progress that Turkish sign language has shown until now are scrutinized to make it visible in social and public environments. Thus, it is considered that Turkish sign language continues to improve in academic and cultural fields.