Progress 1000: five Turks in 2018 list of most influential Londoners

This year’s Progress 1000 list of people making a major difference to London is perhaps its most diverse yet. Home Secretary Sajid Javid tops the list, while the Duchess of Sussex makes her debut straight in to the Top 10.

Five people of Turkish heritage are also included in the 1000: footballer Mesut Özil (pictured above), chef Selin Kiazim, fashion designers Lev Tanju and Erdem Moralıoğlu, and art curator Fatoş Üstek.

Now in its twelfth year, the Evening Standard Progress 1000 names London’s leading ‘movers and shakers’ from politics, business, media, technology and the arts. Presented in partnership with Citibank, The 1000 is compiled by a panel of experts who help the newspaper select those “who did the most to break down barriers and enhance the capital’s reputation as the pre-eminent city of opportunity in the world”.

The inclusion of hundreds of Londoners from multiple ethnic groups, including Turkish, reflects how the capital’s strength is drawn from its remarkable diversity. London’s most influential person is Sajid Javid, the son of a Pakistani bus driver who now occupies one of the most senior political positions in the land, while the mother of former actress Meghan Markle is an African-American. The Standard claims Javid and the duchess’s prominence in this year’s list shatters “out-of-date perceptions of the top of society”.

Here’s what the paper had to write about the British Turks in this year’s Progress 1000:

Artists and Curators Category

Fatoş Üstek, director, David Roberts Art Foundation

“Last year’s Art Night director, now head of a key London private collection and a member of the Arts Council’s acquisitions committee.”

Fatoş Üstek


Artists Anish Kapoor, John Akomfrah, Sarah Lucas, Lubaina Himid, and Yinka Shonibare, Ralph Rugoff, who is both a director of the Hayward Gallery and artistic director of Venice Biennale, Forensic Architecture founder Eyal Weizman, Frances Morris and Gabriele Finaldi, respectively directors of the Tate Modern and the National Gallery, and art critics Gabrielle de la Puente and Zarina Muhammad (the duo go by the name The White Pube). 


Eat & Drink Category

Selin Kiazim, head chef, Oklava and Kyseri

“Showed London there’s way more to Turkish food than kebabs and chips with her modern restaurants.”

Selin Kiazim


Also in this category is restaurateur, chef and author Yotam Ottolenghi, “peerless” restaurant critic Fay Maschler, Soho House founder Nick Jones, Jamie Oliver, serial restaurateur Richard Caring (The Ivy, Sexy Fish, J Sheeky), and Great British Bake Off winner and now author Nadiya Hussain.


Fashion Category

Erdem Moralıoğlu, designer

“This Turkish-Canadian designer deals in reverence and romanticism and is the go-to dress designer for socialites and red-carpet celebrities alike.”

Embed from Getty Images

Lev Tanju, founder, Palace

“The skater turned sweatshirt designer is behind Palace, the most coveted streetwear label on the planet.”

Embed from Getty Images

Other top fashionistas in the capital are new Burberry chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci, British Fashion Chair Stephanie Phair, models Jourdan Dunn and Adwoa Aboah, Vogue UK editor-in-chief Edward Enninful, designers Stella McCartney, Roksanda Ilincic and Victoria Beckham.


Sport: Football and Beyond…

Mesut Özil, Arsenal star

“The German playmaker divides football supporters with his languid style but has huge commercial appeal with nearly 24 million Twitter followers.”

He is joined by the likes of players Harry Kane, Dele Alli, and Eden Hazard, boxer Anthony Joshua, athletes Mo Farah, Laura Muir and Dina Asher-Smith, rugby player Maro Itoje, Herman Ouseley, the founder of football anti-racism body Kick It Out, former players turned TV presenters Gary Linekar and Rio Ferdinand, married hockey couple and Olympic gold medallists Helen and Kate Richardson-Walsh.


Top photo: Mesut Özil on the ball for Arsenal against Aston Villa, Feb. 2015. Photo © Ronnie Macdonald from Chelmsford, UK, CC BY 2.0  via Wikimedia Commons