Handicaps on passenger boats have been a debate issue at Izmir University of Economics. “Accessibility for All in Passenger Boats” titled symposium was held with the collaborations of Izmir University of Economics, Dokuz Eylül University, Union Of Chambers Of Turkish Engineers And Architects- Chamber of Marine Engineers Izmir Branch, and supports of Izmir Chamber of Commerce, IMEAK Chamber of Marine Commerce Izmir Branch, and Izmir Metropolitan Municipality İZDENİZ A.Ş.
Yusuf Öztürk, CEO of Chamber of Marine Commerce Izmir Branch, Geza Dologh, President of the Assembly of Chamber of Marine Commerce, Prof. Dr. Gökdeniz Neşer, Chairman of Izmir Branch of (Union Of Chambers Of Turkish Engineers And Architects Chamber) Marine Engineers, Salih Aslan, Director General of İzdeniz (Izmir Metropolitan Municipality), Prof. Dr. Murat Aşkar, Vice Rector of IUE, academicians, international participants, and disabled citizens attended the organization.
Director General Salih Aslan reported that the Metropolitan Municipality carried around 48 thousand passengers with 25 boats among 8 ports. Aslan said, “We shuttle 211 times. We carry about one thousand 500 vehicles between Üçkuyular - Bostanlı. Safe and comfortable travel of passengers on boats is very important. We are ensuring the docks are suitable for boats. Not all of the disabled passengers are able to get on the boats easily. We purchased new boats for this reason. On three of our boats, disabled passengers are able to get on the boat without extra help and can take care of their needs. We are going to renew the old boats so that everyone can have access to boats and travel safe and comfortably”.
Aslan also mentioned that they purchased ferry boat with a lift which would be going in service very soon. He said that architectural buildings or vehicles oppose handicaps for people and they are trying to overcome these handicaps.
‘More Democratic Perspective’
Yusuf Öztürk of Marine Commerce Izmir Branch pointed that the modern world perspective towards the disabled and the disadvantaged people has been changed, and it became a much more democratic perspective. Öztürk made the following recommendations concerning the disabled people:
“Hydraulic ramps on boats should be used for the disabled. There should be special space for passengers in wheelchairs and visually handicapped passengers on boats. There should be signs with in Braille alphabet, and audio voice announcement system. Transverse colour system can also help people with vision impairment.”
‘We Will Come Up With Solution Suggestions’
Asst. Prof. Dr. Emre Ergül, Lecturer at IUE Faculty of Fine Arts and Design, Department of Interior Architecture and Environmental Design, stated that accessibility for all became an important subject. He said, “Many people, like elderly people, pregnant women and children at different ages as well as mentally disabled people, blind people and people in wheelchairs are in circulation in the active public life of today’s cities. There are some precautions taken to make the use of transportation systems easier, and practical solutions found for the daily problems. But now, a comprehensive approach should be developed. Especially in Izmir, the importance of coastline and bay in public transportation network of the city indicates that there is an urgent need of a new approach.” Ergül said that they established Izmir Marine Group to discuss handicaps in transportation and come up with solution suggestions.