Türk Telekom implements projects to address the requirements of the society with its motto of “Accessible communication for all”
Türk Telekom considers contributing to access to information for all segments who cannot participate in society due to economic, social, regional or physical reasons and eliminating the digital gap in the society as its corporate responsibility.
Working with the principle of “accessible communication for all”, Türk Telekom has adopted the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations as its guiding principles. The Company carries out particularly corporate social responsibility projects that add value to Turkey within the framework of the “Quality Education” and “Reduced Inequality” goals.
Türk Telekom has implemented numerous projects under “Türkiye’ye Değer (Even the smallest difference matters, Turkey is worth all our efforts)” brand
The social responsibility projects Türk Telekom conducted in accordance with its motto of “Even the smallest difference matters, Turkey is worth all our efforts” include İnternetle Hayat Kolay (Life is Simple with Internet), Telefon Kütüphanesi (Books on The Phone), Günışığı (Sunshine), Sesli Adımlar (Loud Steps), Okulumda Günışığı (Sunshine at Schools), Yeni Nesil Gelecek (The Next- Generation Project), Gelecek Köprüsü (Bridge to Future), Türk Telekom Okulları (Türk Telekom Schools) and Türk Telekom Amatör Spor Kulüpleri (Türk Telekom Amateur Sports Clubs). Local social responsibility activities organized by the Türk Telekom Provincial Directorates are conducted within the scope of “Even the smallest difference counts, that’s value Turkey amounts” Project.
The Corporate Social Responsibility project “İnternetle Hayat Kolay” completed its 5th year
Türk Telekom launched the “İnternetle Hayat Kolay (Life is Simple with Internet)” project, with the objective of having information technologies accessible for everyone, viewing information technologies as the main driving factor for sustainable economic growth and social development. The project, initiated in 2014, is carried out in cooperation with Türk Telekom, the Habitat Association and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Targeting people who are not aware of the opportunities offered by the internet and cannot benefit from these opportunities, the “İnternetle Hayat Kolay” project was designed with the aim of enabling these people step into the online world through internet literacy training, and the project completed its 5th year. The project’s target group consists of adults over 25 years of age and who lack or have very limited internet literacy in all of Turkey’s 81 provinces, mainly provinces with development priority. Women are given priority in the target group. The trainings offered within the scope of the project include trainings on internet features facilitating lives such as basic internet literacy, secure internet, e-government, e-pulse, internet banking, online shopping and online sales. Within the scope of the project’s 5-year initial phase, 50 thousand people – 61% of whom were women –have been provided with face-to-face internet literacy trainings in Turkey’s 81 provinces. In the second phase of the İnternetle Hayat Kolay project based on the principle that women’s active participation in the economy and employment are one of the main requirements of development, training programs are held in order to increase women’s knowledge on information and communication technologies, e-services and e-commerce, and to encourage their participation in production. The objectives for this new phase have been determined as providing women entrepreneurs or women with an entrepreneurial spirit who are over 18 years of age with digital literacy, digital marketing and design-oriented thinking workshops, and accessing a total of 5,000 women with these objectives.
İnternetle Hayat Kolay in figures
- A total of 50 thousand people were provided with face-to-face internet literacy training. 61% of the project participants were women.
- The rate of satisfaction with the trainings was 89%.
- The most useful content in the trainings were on e-government, knowledge acquisition and online hospital appointments.
- Following the trainings, among the participants;
- the usage rate of e-services such as e-government or online health appointments increased to 91%,
- the usage rate of online banking and online shopping increased to 70%,
- the rate of social media account usage, having video calls and reading news online increased to 86%,
- the usage rate of internet on mobile devices increased to 80%.
- 83% of the business owner participants stated that the trainings had helped them do their work to a higher level of quality.
- 57% of the participants selling products noted that the training made it easier for them to make sales.
With the Telefon Kütüphanesi, knowledge is as close as a phone for visually impaired readers
In order to provide equal opportunities in access to information to all segments of society, Türk Telekom launched the first “Telefon Kütüphanesi (Books on the Phone)” of Turkey in 2011 in cooperation with GETEM (Boğaziçi University Visually Impaired Technology and Education Laboratory). The Telefon Kütüphanesi service allows the visually impaired to access audio books and various content via phone. The library has nearly 1,250 audio books and content in more than 50 categories ranging from poetry, novels and history to self-development, practice exams and documentary films. Users have the opportunity to pause and continue listening to the book later, to rewind or fast forward the book, to listen to the book at a faster or slower pace, and to access the book they are looking for more quickly through an audio menu. With the Telefon Kütüphanesi project, nearly 1,250 audiobooks are offered to visually impaired Türk Telekom customers through the 0800 219 9191 telephone number. Visually impaired Türk Telekom customers can access the audiobooks free of charge with the passwords they receive after becoming a member of GETEM. It is also possible to reach the library through a free application downloaded over mobile phones. In order to enrich the Telefon Kütüphanesi content and to provide equal opportunities for access to arts as well to access to knowledge, audio descriptions of 20 world famous paintings were been added to the library. In addition, the Anadolu Agency’s breaking news reports can also be accessed by the visually impaired through the library, allowing them to keep up with the latest news. With the Currency Recognition Function available, the Telefon Kütüphanesi also allows the visually impaired to securely pay in stores, markets or in taxis at any time without the need for an internet connection. Since its launch in 2011, Telefon Kütüphanesi has been called a total of 10.8 million minutes. Launched in 2016, the mobile application has been downloaded 35 thousand times and the “Kitaplara Ses (Voice to Books)” application facilitating voluntary books for the visually disabled reading has been downloaded 37 thousand times.
Günışığı project allows children with low vision to actively engage in life
The social responsibility project “Günışığı (Sunshine)” launched by Türk Telekom in 2014 in cooperation with Ey-Der (Association for Living without Obstacles) aims to provide the children with low vision with early intervention education so that they can lead their lives without the help of others and continue inclusive education instead of attending the schools for the visually impaired. With the technology and infrastructure of Türk Telekom, the project is the only example in Turkey as it enables distance education. Within the scope of the Günışığı project, the visual acuity of visually impaired children is determined, and these children are made aware of their visual capacities. Thanks to this project, which had provided education for low vision to around one thousand children from 62 provinces as of 2019, children who used to be considered blind were able to integrate with their peers and receive education in the same schools as them. The project also helps raise awareness of families and teachers on the issue to a great extent. Within the scope of the Günışığı education programs implemented across Turkey, the students of Eskişehir Görsem Solidary Association for the Visually Impaired were provided with low vision education in 2019. Within the scope of Günışığı project, in order to improve the functional visual skills and hand-eye coordination of children with low vision, Türk Telekom designed the Günışığı Games, the first and only smartphone application serving this purpose. Having been downloaded nearly 5 thousand times so far, Günışığı Games is an application that can be used not only by children with low vision, but also by the elderly with weakened vision. The pictures drawn by the children included in the project were converted into holiday greeting cards and used by Türk Telekom; thus these children, who are considered to be visually impaired, were able to share their own success stories with everyone.
Social impact of Günışığı Project measured in accordance with international standards
Türk Telekom has achieved another first in Turkey by measuring the impact of Günışığı project with SROI (Social Return on Investment) method in accordance with international standards. The measurement made using the SROI method revealed the benefits of the project for the society and its impact on parents clearly in figures, and proved that the value of the project’s social benefits was almost triple the investment amount.
According to the measurements made on children who participated in Günışığı Project,
- the physical activity level of children aged five years and above improved by 32%, while their capacity to maintain their existing visual capacity improved by 12%,
- their literacy skills improved by 15%,
- their ability to act independently and self-care skills improved by 10%.
With regard to the families of these children,
- awareness of their child’s visual capacity increased by 29%,
- awareness of their child’s skills increased by 27%,
- confidence that their children could attend mainstream schools increased by 27%.
Additionally, there was a 24% increase in the parents’ sense of feeling stronger and a 20% increase in their peace of mind, and the time spent for childcare decreased by 15%.
Thousands of teachers reached through Okulumda Günışığı
The “Okulumda Günışığı (Sunshine at Schools)” project was implemented as a result of the Günışığı project in 2018. Within the scope of this project, students, parents, teachers, and administrators at primary education schools attended by low vision graduates of the Günışığı are given seminars on Low Vision Education. These seminars were held in the Siirt, Adana and Mersin provinces in 2019. The Okulumda Günışığı seminars target the organization of the class environments of students with low vision according to their needs, that these students can receive education of higher quality, as well as the expansion of “low vision” education programs and their systematic implementation. The project which includes 50 schools from 11 provinces aims to continue the education programs for 2 years and 4 academic periods, reaching about 5 thousand teachers during the project period, and report the results to the Ministry of National Education on individual school basis.
TahtApp developed by Türk Telekom offers an innovative solution for classroom education
Together with the Okulumda Günışığı project at 28 schools in 9 provinces in 2019, the TahtApp application was implemented in order to allow children with low vision to follow-up the lesson more easily, and pilot implementation started at 6 schools. The TahtApp software developed by Türk Telekom R&D team detects the content of the classroom board with a camera and transfers it to the tablets provided to the children on a real-time basis. These transferred contents are arranged by visual processing techniques on tablets, and transformed into a format through which students can follow-up the lesson. During this transformation process, actions such as the removal of the teacher standing in front of the board from the vision and increasing the contrast of colors and text sizes are performed. Thanks to the automatic lesson recording feature available in the application, with the transfer of the lectured lessons to the device, students have opportunity to review the lesson subjects later. Thanks to the TahtApp application, students whose visual field is limited to several centimeters will not only have the chance to actively participate in lessons, but will also be able to continue their education at the same pace as their peers. Thus, the application ensures the standardization required for children who have differences in terms of reading and light detection capacity, while helping to ensure that the students no longer feel separated from their non-disabled peers. The TahtApp application is planned to be implemented in the 25 primary schools included in the project starting from the next academic year.
Türk Telekom EyeSense program bringing ease to the lives of the visually impaired
Türk Telekom has achieved a first in Turkey with the EyeSense application that has been specially developed for making the lives of the visually-impaired easier. EyeSense is a program that helps users to take photos and identifies the objects and colors shown in the camera with the help of its audio instruction system. Adopting a different perspective while developing the EyeSense application, Türk Telekom brought together various features such as “Object Recognition, “Color Recognition” and “Taking Photos” to make the lives of the visually impaired individuals easier. One of these features, the “Object Recognition” includes thousands of objects defined in the app, enables the visually impaired who have difficulty in finding critical objects such as keys and purses to access these objects easily. In order to understand what the objects are and listen to their description, the users just need to direct their smartphone towards the object. The audio warning system of “EyeSense” provides audio guidance to users until they reach the correct angle with their front and back cameras of their smartphones, and allows the photos to be taken in the correct sized frame. Thus, EyeSense users can easily and actively use social media applications such as Instagram, and become a strong part of the social life.
Expanding the reach of Sesli Adımlar, the navigation application - providing mobility for the visually and hearing impaired
“Sesli Adımlar (Loud Steps)” is a smartphone application that enables visually and hearing impaired people to navigate in complex buildings such as shopping malls, campuses and airports without assistance. Launched in 2014 for the visually impaired only, the application enables the visually impaired to find the places they want to go in public spaces without anyone’s help or to understand where they are at a given moment. Providing operator-independent audio guidance through smartphones, the Sesli Adımlar application has been geared for the hearing impaired by adding simple icons in 2017. The application is offered in 47 different structures, including the Chicago Lighthouse, İstanbul Technical University, the Kars Government Office, the Grand Mosque, the San Francisco Lighthouse and the Ministry of Youth and Sports. The application was launched at the Antalya Metropolitan Municipality Building in 2018 within the scope of Smart Cities. Sesli Adımlar, which covers an area of over 2 million square meters, has been downloaded by approximately 30 thousand people in 8 countries and 16 different cities, and used 200 thousand times. The application, which moved to a multilingual structure in 2018, has been used abroad as well as by tourists, migrants and refugees thanks to its English, German and Arabic options.
Youth being supported to prepare for next generation technologies
The “Yeni Nesil Gelecek (Next Generation)” project was launched in 2018 with the cooperation of Türk Telekom, Microsoft Turkey, and the Habitat Association. The main objectives of the project are to contribute to the acceleration of Turkey’s adaption with the Industrial 4.0 process, support the growth of the software sector in Turkey and invest in human resources to produce smart technologies. Within the scope of the project, 426 young people studying in vocational schools and vocational high schools were given 16 hours face-to-face training using IoT kits by 35 volunteer trainers in 12 provinces in 2019, and the project has been completed. Trainings were also offered free of charge via Microsoft Open Academy and TT Academy.
Türk Telekom’s “Gelecek Köprüsü (Bridge to Future)” project is an indicator of the value attached to people
The “Gelecek Köprüsü (Bridge to Future)” project is aimed at helping Syrian refugees in Turkey adapt to society through linguistic and vocational training, ensuring they can continue leading their lives with ease when they return to their country. The project was launched in 2018 with the cooperation of Türk Telekom, İnsan ve Medeniyet Vakfı (Human and Civilization Foundation) and Sakarya University.
The project attracted 7,000 applications in its first phase from İstanbul alone, and 400 people selected from the participants were offered various training programs. The subjects of these training programs were basic Turkish education, coding and web design, photography and videography, journalism and writing.
Türk Telekom achieves one of the largest social responsibility projects in the field of education
Within the scope of the Türk Telekom Schools Project, Türk Telekom offers a modern educational environment for students in 78 Türk Telekom education buildings including 54 schools established across Turkey.
Every year, thousands of students graduate from these schools and education buildings, which are located mostly in the Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia regions and which have been transferred to the Ministry of National Education. In addition, every year Türk Telekom provides scholarships to successful students with financial difficulties.
Türk Telekom introduces Turkey’s young people to sports
Türk Telekom is well aware of the positive contribution that sports can make to the development of the young. Acting with this awareness, the Company supports amateur athletes from various disciplines all around the country.
Türk Telekom sponsors around 5,600 athletes in 33 branches from 44 provinces, from basketball and fencing to athletics and badminton. Among the participants, there are hundreds of young people who successfully represent Turkey, by being selected to the national team, and became a source of pride for the country. These young people won 83 medals in national and international competitions in 2019.
Türk Telekom introduces its Subscription-based Donation System Engaging in an unprecedented cooperation with “Türk Kızılay (Turkish Red Crescent)”, Türk Telekom implemented a first in Turkey.
In order to support the continuity of donations made to the Türk Kızılay, which has been providing support to those in need for 151 years without discrimination, Türk Telekom has launched its Subscription-based Donation System making it easy to donate over the phone.
The system automatically renews the donations made to the Türk Kızılay over the phone at certain intervals. The users just need to send an SMS in order to utilize the facilities provided by the system. Users can donate regularly every month throughout their subscription period. The amount of donation made to the Türk Kızılay is reflected to the invoice of users each month, or is deducted from their remaining balance, and users can unsubscribe at any time.
Accessible Life mobile application provides concrete solutions for the challenges people with disabilities face in their daily lives
Türk Telekom contributes to the participation of disabled people in everyday life with the Accessible Life mobile application. The application offers concrete solutions to challenges encountered by the disabled people in daily life, thanks to services such as Currency Recognition and Voice Readout.
The Türk Telekom Accessible Life mobile application, which has received 4 awards in international competitions so far, also won the 2019 Global Business Excellence Award in the category of “Outstanding Customer Service Initiative” and received high praise in the “Best Use of Mobile Within a Loyalty Strategy” in the 2019 The Loyalty Magazine Awards.