By Baris Gundogan
Turkey will mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Sunday.
In a message, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: "We have witnessed an important change of mentality toward disabled people’s involvement in society.
"Our disabled brothers and sisters achieve great things in every field of life including, sports, art, literature and education, setting examples for the society. The success these people achieve by overcoming difficulties makes us proud."
He stressed that he attached great importance to making the lives of disabled people easier.
"We, who see our disabled citizens as an inseparable part of our society, took essential steps within the last 15 years, regarding the solutions of their problems," Erdogan said, adding that his government continued to lift the obstacles to their education by re-arranging schools, cities and streets.
"It is our duty to encourage our disabled brothers and sisters, to give them a helping hand when they need it… to support them for the solution of their problems and to be with them in every step that will ease their lives," he said.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim also issued a message on the day saying it was the most natural right of all people, disabled or not, to assume an honorable, effective and equal role in society.
"I wholeheartedly support all campaigns and projects aimed at making society aware of disability and supporting disabled families," Yildirim said, calling on everyone to take "utmost" responsibility towards this end.
The UN General Assembly proclaimed Dec. 3 as the International Day of Disabled Persons in 1992.
Reporting by Baris Gundogan & Sinan Uslu ; Writing by Burcu Arik,Sena Guler