Ufuk Çelebioğlu, whose mother and father are hearing impaired, is one of the thousands of people whose main language is the sign language although they can hear and speak. Çelebioğlu, who is working as sign language interpreter at Social Services Department of the Ministry of Family and Social Policies, is the member of the crew which will be the voice and ear of more than 5,000 deaf athletes from 92 countries in Deaflympics 2017, the third largest sports organization in the world.

Ufuk Çelebioğlu is a CODA, in other words, being a non-deaf child of the parents who are deaf. The biggest difference from other non-deaf individuals is that the first language they learnt is the sign language, in other words, their mother tongue. With this language, Çelebioğlu, who learnt Turkish from both television and Turkish relatives who can hear and speak, started to provide communication between his mother and father and the outside world from an early age.

Çelebioğlu who mentioned the fact that CODA individuals are obliged to take great responsibility at a young age said: " Being a CODA is, in fact, a privilege, there were many advantages, and pranks in my childhood. For example, I was not reflecting my teacher's complaints when I had a parent at the meeting. We take responsibility at an early age. For example, I stayed at the door because my mother and father did not hear the bell, I never had the luxury of forgetting the key"

Çelebioğlu who stated that they were employed as sign language interpreters in the result of concrete and applicable projects developed in recent years said: “We earn money with our hands, Ellerimizle para kazanıyoruz, in a way, we have turned our life into a business."


Çelebioğlu underlines that Deaflympics is a great value for Turkey in economic, cultural and social terms and added: "As CODAs and interpreters working on field actively, we are a group in total of 200 people. Interpreters who have comprehensive knowledge of international sign language will also come to Samsun. We will form a bridge throughout the organization. We would like to thank Akif Çağatay Kılıç, the Youth and Sports Minister of Turkey, and everyone who has been involved in this organization. We are waiting for our people to this organization.


Turkish Airlines is the official airline of "23rd Summer Deaflympics Samsun 2017" and special discounts are offered on certain booking classes. In order to proceed with the online booking tool for Turkish Conventions please visit the Turkish Conventions website https://www4.thy.com/TKC/app/main?language=en and use the event code “154TKM17” under delegate section.