Glitzy event held to mark Turkish Cypriot association’s anniversary
The Turkish Cypriot Cultural Association in Hackney held a glamourous event last week to mark the 40th year of its establishment.
The event saw a range of live music and dancing – including tango and salsa – as well as speeches from visiting dignitaries and a full kebab service in the garden.
Among those attending were the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’s representative in London, Zehra Başaran; Gülgün Özçelik, the Turkish Cypriot culture attaché; association president Zeka Alsancak and deputy Türker Chakıcı; Diane Abbott MP and local Hackney councillor Soraya Adajera.
Also present were representatives of cultural and Turkish associations based in London and dignitaries from the Turkish Embassy in London as well as Azerbaijan House.
Following speeches by the dignitaries, there was a guitar and song performance by Yiğit ve Doğan Çıtak, following by a tango and salsa performance by Alper Tunga Topdemir ve İpek and kebabs served by the Anatolia Cultural Centre.
Both Greek and Turkish Cypriots first started migrating to the UK in significant numbers in the 1950s, with the third and even fourth generations of those pioneers still living in London today.
TCCA provides a range of services to Turkish and Kurdish people living in London, including social and home care and free legal advice from qualified lawyers.
Among its services are food delivery for the elderly and homebound, a dinner club twice a week, regular doctors’ visits, youth engagement, theatre work and Turkish classes for children and young people.
In total, the association estimates it assists three thousand cases every year, with the support of funding from Hackney Council, the Lottery fund and other charities and foundations.
Türker Chakıcı said the association plays an important role in supporting the development of Turkish young people and their education, particularly within Turkish supplementary schools. In addition to weekend activities and Turkish language classes, there is support available for maths and science classes – which parents have described as very welcome.
Anyone interested in taking part or volunteering in the community can visit the association’s building at Kıbrıs Türk Kültür Derneği, 14a Graham Road, Hackney, London E8 1BZ. Anyone interested in classes should telephone Gülnur Salih on 07946 344 667.