Is Turkey Suitable For Disabled People?
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This article explains; “Is Turkey suitable for disabled people?” question in detail. Turkey is one of the most visited and traveled countries in the world due to its rich ancient history and spellbinding constructions. Even if you are suffering from a disability or handicap, you need not worry about visiting the country, as Turkey has made itself a country that is amazingly suitable for a disabled person.
Is Turkey Suitable For Disabled People?
The Turkish government has made great strides in making people with special needs enjoy the country’s history and enjoy the same attractions, sites, heritage destinations, and highlights that able-bodied travelers visit. They have striven to make Turkey suitable for disabled people and have tasted great success in that manner.
However, you will need to keep in mind that some of the constructions in Turkey were built thousands of years ago, and renovating them for a disabled person can be a daunting task that can take too much time and is expensive at the same time.
Amenities For Disabled People in the Past and Present
The picture was not as encouraging as it is now as ten years ago, amenities provided for the disabled people in Turkey were very poor. Even the locals were hesitant and finding it hard to offer excellent services to these people with special needs.
However, the picture has changed significantly, and you will be amazed by the way the Turkish government has approached this situation. In the last five years, more provinces are updating their facilities and building to make Turkey suitable for disabled people.
To see the changes; there are newly built hotels that have allocated specially adapted rooms and most of the public buildings have wheelchair ramps installed. New airports in the west of Turkey have also installed special facilities to accommodate disabled people.
One of the brightest spots in Turkey is its people’s adaptability and hospitality. They are firm believers of the quote that goes like; “where there is a will, then there is a way!” citizens will go out of their way to help disabled people overcome various obstacles faced during their visits. The taxi and bus drivers are also very helpful, as they will assist the disabled people whenever and wherever needed.
Changes Turkey Have Made in Structural Buildings For Disabled People
The Turkish government is showing great effort in making it easier for disabled people to visit the country. They have made a significant amount of changes in various buildings and public constructions. Here are some of the specific locations and sectors that have been renovated for disabled people:
As the country was becoming a major hub for travel, the Turkish government started to build lots of new airports in recent years. These new airports have been designed by keeping the needs of disabled people in mind. Airports at the largest cities such as; Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, and Antalya are easily accessible with services such as; jet bridges, helpful assistants, wide and big doors, ramps, and fewer curb cuts.
Many hotels have adopted new changes and have special guest rooms and other facilities to give optimum comfort and easy accessibility through ramps, elevators, hallways, public rooms, and toilets for disabled people.
However, if you are going to a small lodge or a cheaper option then you may face difficulties as a disabled person because of a lack of lifts, tiny bathrooms, etc., check well before you book your room and see if they can accommodate your special needs.
If you are looking for bright spots then local transport is certainly one of them. The modernized transport network in cities such as; Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir have adapted major changes to make it easier for handicapped people.
Various transport vehicles such as; metros, trams, and ferries have been designed by keeping European standards in mind. City buses have specific seats reserved for disabled passengers but there are no buses with wheelchair accessibility. You can get access to the ferry boats with the help of assistance from locals.
Streets are an utter nightmare for disabled people as they have uneven pavement, non-standard width, and obstacles like swan-off pipes sticking out on the roads. Shopkeepers and restaurants have covered the sidewalks with displays of goods, tables, chairs, and signs. This is why you will need to walk on the street as the sidewalks are difficult.
However, streets in old Istanbul have square granite pavement blocks, with fewer curb cuts. It does make a comforting experience for a disabled person. Cities and local municipalities are making stern efforts to improve accessibility in public places but it will take years to make these streets fully accessible.
When high-speed train lines were opened between Istanbul, Ankara, and Konya; the travel accessibility among these cities improved greatly due to trains, platforms, and stations meeting and satisfying European standards. These stations are also easy to commute for a disabled person.
However, older intercity trains are still far from ideal for disabled people because of narrow steps and smaller and congested doors. Although all the major stations have ramps installed there.
Sincere efforts have been made by the Turkish government to solidify the country’s historical buildings, museums, and ancient sites suitable for a disabled person. But the road is long and the idea is very daunting to implement in some of the buildings. You should double-check before you visit the site.
Is Turkey Wheelchair Friendly?
As the Country is an ancient one and some of the buildings were made thousands of years ago, it is a daunting task for the Turkish government to make the entire Turkey suitable for disabled people. However, they have taken amazing steps and have made it easy for people with special needs.
If you are traveling in a wheelchair, then keep these tips in mind for a hassle-free commute:
- Double-check accessibility before you book the hotel,
- Avoid old and ancients cities,
- Look for accessible bathrooms,
- Stay near tourists attractions.
Final Words – Is Turkey Suitable for Disabled People?
If you are a person with a disability then you need not worry about visiting Turkey. The Turkish government has taken great steps to make the traveling experience easy for such people and you will be amazed by the warmth and help you will get from the locals. Hence, you can say that Turkey is slowly and steadily becoming a suitable place for disabled people.
Related Article: What Makes the Turkish People Different?