British Turkish Cypriots have laid wreaths in multiple locations across London this year, building on their growing participation in Remembrance Sunday events of few years.
The leaders of two North London councils, Enfield’s Cllr Nesil Caliskan and Haringey’s Cllr Peray Ahmet, laid wreaths in their official capacities at ceremonies in Edmonton and Wood Green respectively.
Cllr Ahmet Dourmoush took part in two ceremonies in his official role as Mayor of Bexley, laying a wreath in Sidcup and later participating in a service in Welling.
In addition to her husband’s participation, the Mayoress of Bexley, Mrs Elmaz Dourmoush also took part in the Sidcup service, laying a wreath on behalf of the “Turkish Cypriot community in Bexley”.
Turkish Cypriot cleric Husayn Hashim Bakayi Mustafa said Islamic prayers at the Wood Green ceremony as part of Haringey’s multi-faith approach to Remembrance Sunday.
Erim Metto, head of the Turkish Cypriot Community Association (TCCA) and Semahat Mustafa from the Turkish Women’s Philanthropic Association (TWPA) also laid wreaths.
TWPA representatives laid wreaths at three additional locations: Edmonton Green, Enfield Town and also at the ceremony in Barnet, the latter involving TWPA head Seyyare Beyzade, who is behind the important new Turkish Cypriot Remembrance Society initiative.
Writing on their Facebook page ahead of Sunday’s Remembrance services, TWPA confirmed the locations and services it would be participating in, with wreaths laid “by members of our community who’s [sic] fathers and/or family members fought in World War II as part of the Cyprus Regiment.”
All four wreaths had the same dedication: “This wreath is laid by the Turkish Women’s Philanthropic Association on behalf of the Turkish Cypriot Remembrance Society in honour of all our Turkish Cypriot soldiers who gave their lives, so we could live ours freely. Forever remembered. Forever missed.”
It means that non-political British Turkish Cypriots were actively involved in Remembrance Sunday at five different sites in four separate boroughs across London, up from last year’s wreath-laying at three London events.
Unfortunately, there was no Remembrance Sunday ceremony in Girne, North Cyprus, this year due to “health and safety” reasons, according to a post by the Royal British Legion Kyrenia branch on Sunday.