In Deaflympics 2017, the largest organisation in Turkish sports history, Buse Yörükoğlu and Berna Dikyuva are looking for medals in swimming and their sign language translator cousin Volkan Yılmaz is the voice of them and other athletes.

23. Summer Deaflympics  Turkish National  Swimming Team athletes Buse Yörükoğlu and Berna Dikyuva will be entering the pool to become medalists and to hoist the Turkish flag. Volkan Yılmaz is one of the people who will make the voices of the two sisters, and other athletes who will compete for the same purpose, heard. A hearing child of Deaf parents, or a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults), Volkan Yılmaz is the cousin of sisters Berna and Buse.

It is not just these three cousins that have the ability in the family. Turkish national swimmer Berna Dikyuva stated that they started swimming thanks to their mother, who was a swimming coach: “My mother used to be a coach. My mother was teaching little children when I was 9 years old. We started swimming in this way.

Buse Yörükoylu, who is a national swimmer like her sister, said: “I started swimming the same way, as we are sisters. I hope we will achieve a good result in the Games, because the Europeans are very strong too. We want to get a medal and make our names heard.

“I AM MOVED BY THEIR STRUGGLES”

Volkan Yılmaz, who Works as a sign language translator in Deaflympics 2017 and appears in news broadcasts in the lower right corner translating for Deaf individuals, will make the voices of Buse Yörükoğlu and Berna Dikyuva heard.

Volkan Yilmaz stated that it was a special pride and happiness to play a part in this organization, "My cousins are in the swimming national team. This is a proud event for me. While they are competing in the sports branches, I share their struggle with sign language.This moves me and gives me pride.”

Volkan Yılmaz, who remarked that he is the child of Deaf parents and he learned sign language first, continued: “People ask me if I had trouble learning sign language. It’s my mother tongue. I ask them if they had trouble learning to speak. They don’t remember, because we learn our mother tongue at a very young age and we don’t remember those times. It’s the same for us. Our difference is, we grow up bilingual. We learn sign language first, then spoken language.”

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