Sunday, 19 April 2015

T-VINE UK General Election Special – North London hustings and a chance for younger British Turks to get politically active

L-R: Isabel Sigmac, Turhan Özen, Gönül Daniels, & Ibby Mehmet 

All four British Parliamentary candidates of Turkish heritage have agreed to take part in a special hustings event being organised by T-VINE Magazine a week before the UK General Elections.

Open to all members of the public, the debate – in English – will be hosted by the Turkish Cypriot Community Association (TCCA) in Harringay on the evening of Wednesday 29 April 2015.

Representing Britain’s three main political parties, Gönül Daniels, Isabel Sigmac (both Conservative), Turhan Özen (Liberal Democrat) and Ibby Mehmet (Labour) will participate in the ‘Question Time’ style event to be chaired by T-VINE columnist Ertanch Hidayettin. During the two-and-a-half-hour debate, each candidate will be given the opportunity to talk about their party’s policies on core issues including the economy, education, employment, housing, crime, foreign policy, immigration, and youth, as well as answer questions from the floor.

Hustings chair, Ertanch Hidayettin
One of the important aims of this historic event is to present young British Turks with positive role models, allowing them to hear first-hand how and why each of the candidates got involved in their chosen parties, and the process and challenges involved in becoming selected as a Parliamentary candidate. In doing so, T-VINE and TCCA hope to encourage community members to participate more fully in mainstream British political life, with increased numbers voting during UK elections and also joining those political parties that best reflect their interests and values.

Ertanch Hidayettin said, “This event not only allows us to question candidates standing in areas where there are high levels of Turkish speakers, but to also demonstrate that our community is actively engaged in UK politics, both as voters and as activists. These British Turkish candidates are also important role models for the next generation, so we look forward to seeing a large turnout from the community – particularly younger voters.”

The four candidates for the T-VINE hustings, whose ethnic origins encompass Turkish, Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Kurdish backgrounds, are standing in the following constituencies:

Entry to the event is free and open to all members of the public, and no prior booking is needed. Those heading to the event straight from college or work can purchase beverages, delicious hot Cypriot meals and a selection of mezze dishes from TCCA’s Cyprus Kitchen, which will be open before and after the hustings.

Date: Wednesday, 29th April 2015
Time: 7.00-9.30 pm
Venue: Turkish Cypriot Community Association, 628 – 630 Green Lanes, Harringay, London N8 0SD

Transport & parking: the venue is well served by public transport, with Turnpike Lane the nearest tube. On street parking is possible in many side streets and in designated areas on the main road after 7pm.

Photos: supplied by the candidates or from their official websites, except Ibby Mehmet whose photo is from (a publication by Goldsmiths Student Union)


London MEP candidate Dr Turhan Ozen “treasures” liberal values and the rights of the individual, 13 May 2014 

Ibby Mehmet – Labour high-flyer standing up for social justice, 12 May 2014

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