The UK referendum on membership of the European Union divided British Turks, as it did the rest of the country. This Wednesday, T-VINE Magazine will host a panel of experts for a ‘Brexit Special’ debate, chaired by columnist Ertanch Hidayetin.
Retired ambassador Alp Mehmet, author and sociologist Semra Eren-Nijhar, Councillor Mete Coban, and immigration law specialist Dudu Ozoran will discuss topics such as xenophobia during the campaign, the rise of racism since the referendum, and how Brexit could impact ordinary British Turks.
The event takes place on Wednesday 7 September at the Turkish Cypriot Community Association (TCCA) in Harringay. Members of the public are invited to attend. The event is free and no prior registration is needed.
Doors open at 7pm, the two-hour debate starts at 7.30pm.
About the panel
Alp Mehmet is a retired British diplomat Alp Mehmet MVO. He was born Cyprus and came to the UK in 1956. He grew up and went to school in East London. He attended Bristol Polytechnic (University of the West of England.) where he read Business Studies.
Alp is the first overseas born diplomat to be appointed a British Ambassador (to Iceland.) He has also served in Nigeria, Romania and Germany.
His London govt jobs included private secretary to Ministers, Foreign & Commonwealth Office Parliamentary Clerk, & Asia Spokesman. Before joining the FCO, he spent 9 years as an immigration officer and 4 years as a visa officer in Nigeria. He retired in 2008 and now works in both private and public sectors.
He has been vice-chair of Migration Watch UK since 2010. His role means he is regularly called upon by the British media to comment on migration issues and community relations. He speaks Turkish, Greek, French, Icelandic, Romanian and German.
Dudu Ozoran has been practising Immigration Law for over 25 years and is an accredited solicitor on the Law Society Immigration Law panel. Her career includes work on several pivotal immigration cases.
A recognised expert in her field, Dudu has written numerous articles in Turkish newspapers and magazines, and for many years given free advice on London Turkish Radio. Dudu was also the original legal specialist presenter on Son Durak, screened weekly to millions on Turkey’s Kanal D TV channel.
Her firm Ozoran Turkan Solicitors has been established for 36 years. During that time, Dudu has trained over 15 solicitors.
The firm works very closely with the Turkish Consulate on cases which are of acute importance to the British Turkish community.
Even though the Brexit deal has yet to be shaped, Dudu is already seeing a marked change in the Home Office’s response to immigrants and their visa applications.
Mete Coban is just 24 years old, but already he has accomplished much as a politician, strategist, football scout and the chief executive of a charity.
In May 2014, at the age of 21 Mete became the youngest elected councillor in Hackney. He is a Labour councillor for Stoke Newington ward.
Mete is the current chief executive of MLMS (MyLifeMySay), a charitable organisation that stimulates young people’s engagement in politics.
He was a key member of Sadiq Khan’s selection campaign, now the Mayor of London. He was also a vocal Remain campaigner during the recent EU referendum.
Mete has a keen interest in football and has previously served as a youth scout for Arsenal FC and Southampton FC (2012 – 2016).
Semra Eren-Nijhar is an an author, sociologist, policy consultant and filmmaker. Her multi-faceted work draws on her academic studies into migration, women, diversity, EU policies and Turkish people living across Europe.
For the past 30 years, she has conducted extensive research into public policy across Europe and Turkey and presented papers at international conferences. She has also served as a public policy consultant for a wide range of organisations across Europe.
She has written multiple books including: Londra’da Cok Kulturluluk (2015), Turkish Heritage in the UK (2014), Artık Gurbet Yok (Mu?) (2014), Evrenin Şairi Osman Türkay (2013), and Kıbrıs Türk Cemiyeti Avrupa’nın İlk Türk Derneği (2012). She’s also penned a book about the world for children – Kıpırtı Yazıları (2013).
As director of SUNCUT, Semra has produced documentaries including, ‘Söz Bizde / We Have the Voice – Turkish Youth of London’ (2011). Her work has also been turned into photographic exhibitions in Britain, Belgium and Turkey, featuring portraits of individuals who have formed part of her studies.
She has played an active role within civic society and is the founder of Turkish Heritage Day in London.
Semra is a media commentator, writing for multiple newspapers. She also produced and presented the highly-regarded weekly current affairs TV show Avrupa’da Söz Bizde.
Times: 7.30pm to 9.30pm.
Address: main hall, TCCA, 628-630 Green Lanes, Harringay, London N8 OSD
Entrance: free – no prior registration needed