Get ready to laugh yourself silly at Şaka Maka: Turkish stand-up comedy in East London


A new Turkish comedy concept Şaka Maka will launch later this month with four young British Turkish talents, who will be drawing on their ethnic roots to present an all-Turkish evening of comedy.

Aslı Akbay, Şaban ‘Shaban’ Kâzım, Hassan Dervish and Rusen Tuzcu are part of the brand new Eastern European Comedy Festival, and will be live for your entertainment at the renowned Backyard Comedy Club in Bethnal Green on Sunday 25 February.

Click here for how to win yourself a pair of tickets to this top comedy night!

Aslı Akbay is the like the Bosphorus Bridge, straddling life across two continents, regularly performing in both her native London and in ‘Motherland’ Istanbul. In London she has performed at venues such as The Comedy Store, Downstairs At The Kings Head, Laughing Horse, and Amused Moose Comedy clubs to name but a few. Over in Turkey Aslı performs lives in several leading venues and is also part of all-female stand-up comedy group Çok Da Fifi, touring all over Turkey. Fluent in both Turkish and English, her stand-up routines have been described as “delightful, wacky and outrageous”.

From South London, Şaban ‘Shaban’ Kâzım is half-English, half-Turkish Cypriot and has been gigging since 2010, appearing in numerous venues including The Comedy Store, The Comedy Cafe, Top Secret Comedy, Downstairs At The Kings Head and The Backyard Comedy Club. He is a five-time winner of The Comedy Cafe’s New Act night and has also won the Comedy Store Gong show.

In 2015, Şaban was shortlisted for the BBC New Comedy Award, and his performances were later aired on BBC Radio 2 and BBC 4 Extra. His style of comedy is wacky with light-hearted tales about everyday life and cultural quirks.

Hassan Dervish is a Turkish Cypriot musical stand-up comedian and he loves to perform hilarious songs. He was a finalist at the Comedy Virgins Max Turner Prize, a semi-finalist at Amused Moose and a Quarter Finalist at the Leicester Square Theatre’s New Comedian of the Year.

Rusen Tuzcu is a comedian from Turkey’s capital city Ankara now living in the UK. His first experience of comedy came in Istanbul when he took part in a stand-up competition for Turkey’s biggest satire magazine Leman. He continued stand-up when he moved to London to study, though still performs in Turkey, setting up the first UK-style Open Mic night in Istanbul with Aslı Akbay called KoMikrofon.

Competition: win tickets

Thanks to those lovely people at Eastern European Comedy Fest, T-VINE has four tickets to give away to the show. Two readers can bag themselves a pair each by answering this simple question: What does ‘şaka’ mean in Turkish:

  1. A fruit
  2. Joke
  3. Scarf

Competition closes at 23.59 on Sunday 18 February 2018. For details on how to enter and other competition rules visit this page.

Event Details

Title: Şaka Maka (Turkish Stand-up Comedy Show)

Date: Sunday 25 February 2018

Language: Turkish (mis)

Times: Doors open at 6pm

Venue: Backyard Comedy Club, 231 Cambridge Heath Road, London, E2 0EL

Admission: £10.00 (plus a £0.75 fee)

Tickets: buytickets/easterneuropeancomedyfestival


Top photo, L-R: Hassan Dervish, Aslı Akbay, Rusen Tuzcu and Şaban ‘Shaban’ Kâzım