only be open

Not only one sign! MANY! In Turkish sign language! Recep works for Information Technology at Sabanci University. He works with a team on the web design of about 50 webpages for the university. We had breakfast together, then he took me to his office to show me pictures on top of pictures, plus weblinks to information about Turkey in general and the Deaf Turkish community in particular. 🙂 I need many more pictures in my blog. Wow. I was not able to show him very much, and (thinking with Deaf eyes) I realized how text-heavy my site is. 🙁
Turkish Sign Language for WORK.jpg photograph of an artwork for the special show El/Le at the Pera Museum, Istanbul, by Selen Sarikaya, titled SILENCE
As usual, he (the deaf person) made all the accommodations for me, the less-flexible non-deaf person. Recep (the letter “c” is supposed to have the mark at the bottom that indicates the “ch” sound) knows some American Sign Language. I am thinking Turkish Sign Language is a relative of British Sign Language (which has no relation at all to ASL) and also some English. We began with gestures, then combined gesturing with writing, and at his computer had the most fluid conversation combining photos, websites, gestures, some written notes, and his Moonstar Turkish-English dictionary. Unfortunately, Moonstar only runs on PCs, not on Apples. 🙁 Although there is a website I can access for English-Turkish at translation; I don’t know if it is as sophisticated as Moonstar &emdash; I was impressed with it. Working a phrase at a time we could communicate very well, supplemented with facial expression, gestures, and some signs.
I was teasing myself yesterday when I posted about “a sign” &emdash; thinking I had already been given one: time to move on! Gizem had pointed Recep out to me but I hadn’t been able to catch him that first time; I knew this might be my only chance to connect with the Deaf community here. Who knew he would turn out to be so generous and friendly?! I guess perhaps I am as much a “novelty” to him as he is is to me. 🙂 We certainly share a love for teasing (!) and much curiousity about how other people experience the world.
As has been happening for some time now, I feel myself blessed.

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