Turkcell (NYSE:TKC) (BIST:TCELL) and the Municipality of Gaziantep, which have previously joined forces to transform the city of Gaziantep into a "smart city", have announced a new phase in their cooperation, this time with the goal of facilitating the lives of visually-disabled individuals. "My Dream Companion", a mobile application and service developed by Turkcell and the Young Guru Academy (YGA), will now include a beacon-powered transportation feature, live-trialed for the first time in Gaziantep.

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Gaziantep Mayor Fatma Sahin (front left), Turkcell CEO Kaan Terzioglu (back left), Gamze Sofuoglu (f ...

Gaziantep Mayor Fatma Sahin (front left), Turkcell CEO Kaan Terzioglu (back left), Gamze Sofuoglu (front right) and Kursat Ceylan (back left) of Turkcell and YGA trialed the transportation feature of My Dream Companion in Gaziantep. (Photo: Business Wire)

The feature allows visually-disabled individuals to use the buses on the city's public transportation system without requiring outside help. The traveler can access route and bus stop information on their smartphone, and receive alerts when their bus reaches the bus stop, and when it approaches their final destination. The system also allows the driver to receive a warning message if there is a visually-disabled individual waiting to board the bus at any specific bus stop. The rare application of the beacon technology in an outside setting ensures greater precision.

The feature was tested in a live trial attended by Fatma Sahin, the Mayor of Gaziantep, Kaan Terzioglu, the CEO of Turkcell, members of Gaziantep's visually-disabled community and journalists. Turkcell and the Gaziantep Municipality aim to expand the service to the entire city in the coming months, following the pilot implementation.

My Dream Companion's transportation feature is the latest addition to the award-winning mobile application. Other features include shopping center navigation and audio-description of movies, which was also offered for the first time globally on a mobile app through My Dream Companion. In addition to hosting the first implementation of the transport feature, Gaziantep also became the second stop after Istanbul for the expansion of the shopping center navigation feature, also powered by beacon technology.

Making smart city Gaziantep smarter for the visually disabled

Speaking at the press conference held in Gaziantep, Fatma Sahin, the Mayor of Gaziantep, said:

"We have a long-standing cooperation with Turkcell in employing technology to efficiently use our city's resources and to facilitate the lives of our citizens. Now we are expanding this cooperation into the field of making our city equally accessible to the disabled individuals as the non-disabled. Our goal is to provide the means for the disabled inhabitants of our city to fully and independently participate in all aspects of life. The transportation feature of My Dream Companion, launched for the first time in Gaziantep, as well as the other opportunities that this app unlocks are major steps in achieving this goal for the visually-disabled."

Turkcell's CEO Kaan Terzioglu emphasized the role that mobile technologies play in ensuring equal participation of all segments of society in all aspects of life. "We serve the city of Gaziantep with our technology in a number of ways from our fiber backbone to machine-to-machine communication. My Dream Companion, and more specifically, the launching of the transportation feature in Gaziantep, builds on this important foundation" said Terzioglu. "Our work does not stop here: With our partners, we will find new ways of serving our customers with life-enhancing technologies which will eventually include artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality. Joining forces with partners like Gaziantep Municipality and the Young Guru Academy helps us design solutions that speak to real needs and function well in real settings."

"My Dream Companion" is a constantly-evolving service and application designed by Turkcell and the Young Guru Academy. It has received the GSMA's Global Mobile Award - or "Glomos' - twice, in 2014 and 2016, in the category of "best use of mobile for accessibility and inclusion". It is available for free to visually disabled customers of all mobile operators. "My Dream Companion" serves all mobile phone users with features such as audio recordings of daily newspapers, audio books, and location-based information; and provides further services to smartphone users through "My Dream Companion" app which includes transportation, shopping center navigation and audio-description.

Further details on My Dream Companion's audio description feature are available here: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20151022005894/en/Global-Turkcell-Incorporates-Audio-Description-Mobile-App

ABOUT TURKCELL: Turkcell is a converged telecommunication and technology services provider, founded and headquartered in Turkey. It serves its customers with voice, data, TV and value-added consumer and enterprise services on mobile and fixed networks. Turkcell launched LTE services in its home country on April 1st, 2016, employing LTE-Advanced and 3 carrier aggregation technologies in 81 cities. In 2G and 3G, Turkcell's population coverage is at 99.85% and 95.05%, respectively, as of March 2016. It offers up to 1 Gbps fiber internet speeds with its FTTH services. Turkcell Group companies serve 67.6 million subscribers in 9 countries - Turkey, Ukraine, Belarus, Northern Cyprus, Germany, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Moldova - as of March 31, 2016. Turkcell Group reported TRY3.2 billion revenue with total assets of TRY26.2 billion as of March 31, 2016. It has been listed on the NYSE and the BIST since July 2000, and is the only NYSE-listed company in Turkey. Read more at www.turkcell.com.tr

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