Political Participation of Turks in the UK- Forthcoming Local Elections

Apr 12, 2006 18:00

His Excellency Bahadir Kaleli, Ms Ayfer Orhan, Labour, Cllr Mr Ertan Hurer, Cllr Mr Dogan Delman, Cllr Ms Nilgun Canver, Cllr Ms Meral Ece


-From the perspective of British-Turkish politicians, the panel analysed:

* How British-Turks view the political system, culture and process

* Why British-Turks lack interest in local and national political issues

* Ways of increasing Turkish political participation in the UK

* The role of Turkish organisations in generating such interest

* Interaction between local councils and British-Turks

* Communication channels between British-Turks and politicians

Outcome:

The primary purpose of bringing together such a group of distinguished local British-Turkish politicians was to discuss ways in which to encourage the participation of the Turkish community in local and national politics in the UK and express support for the British-Turkish candidates in the nearby local elections in May 2006.

By academic standards, the meeting was very successful. The panellists covered a vast range of issues and answered many questions. What was encouraging was the number of people that attended despite the event being held on a weekday. Normally, a select number of people attend such academic meetings but on this occasion we were encouraged to host almost a hundred guests from different backgrounds, occupations and ages. There was a consensus on many issues, such as the need for greater Turkish-British participation in UK politics; the need for more effective lobbying and the importance of solidarity, dialogue and co-operation among different British-Turkish communities. Our speakers were exemplary in the amicable way in which they discussed issues, regardless of their political parties and views. Dr Mehmet Ali Dikerdem proved to be an excellent chair. LCSS is now planning to start its second London Turkish School of Politics, in which we will try to encourage and teach young British-Turks know-how of participating in UK politics.

Chair:

Dr. Mehmet Ali Dikerdem, Lecturer, Middlesex University

Opening Remarks:

His Excellency Bahadir Kaleli, Turkish Consul General

Panellists:

Ms Ayfer Orhan, Labour, former Parliamentary candidate

Mr Ertan Hurer, Cllr, Conservatives, former Parliamentary candidate

Mr Dogan Delman, Cllr, Conservatives

Ms Nilgun Canver, Cllr, Labour

Ms Meral Ece, Cllr, Lib Dems, former Parliamentary candidate

Contributors

Baroness Meral Hussein-Ece OBE

Liberal Democrat Peer, House of Lords

Dr Mehmet Ali Dikerdem

Senior Lecturer, Middlesex University


Venue


LSE - London School of Economics and Political Science

LSE, New Academic Building, 54 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3LJ



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