UK Turkish coronavirus deaths top fifty, as report finds 1 in 3 COVID-19 critically ill patients are from ethnic minorities

At least fifty-one people from the British Turkish community have died from coronavirus, the vast majority of Turkish Cypriot origin.

The death of doner chef Yaşar Cevahir, formerly of Güzelyurt, North Cyprus, meant the virus has now claimed the lives of forty Turkish Cypriots in Britain.

Nationally, a total of 5,373 patients have died in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus as of 5pm on Sunday, 5 April. The tally marks an increase of 439 from the previous day.

The Department of Health said 208,837 people have been tested to date, of which 51,608 were found to be COVID-19 positive.

The death toll among British Turks has been steadily mounting since Ahmet Raşit’s death on 15 March – the community’s first coronavirus fatality. The South Londoner was  61 years old.

Within a few days, 92-year-old Elmaziye Kanlı and 55-year-old Hayri Ergönül also passed away after contracting the deadly disease. All three had underlying medical causes.

Since then, there has rarely been a day without a coronavirus victim from the community.

Disproportionately high COVID-19 rates among ethnic minorities: 13% of UK population, yet 1 in 3 of all critically ill patients

The high death rate among Turkish Cypriots has been of particular concern. Numbering around 300,000 in Britain, the community represents just 0.4% of the UK population, but its coronavirus death rate of 40 stands at nearly double that (0.7%).

Turkish Cypriot Ahmet Rashit (61) was the UK Turkish community’s first COVID-19 victim, passing away in hospital on 15 March 2020


A new report, ‘ICNARC report on COVID-19 in critical care’, issued by the Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre on Saturday, 4 April, found that about a third of the patients in intensive care and critically ill with COVID-19 were from black, Asian or minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds.

Its data shows that of the 1,966 patients critically ill with confirmed COVID-19 who were admitted into intensive care and whose ethnicity was known, 693 were from a mixed heritage and/or ethnic minority background, equating to 35% of all those in intensive care.

ICNARC report shows 35% (693 people) of the 1966 critically ill COVID-19 patients were from an ethnic minority

According to the 2011 Census, BME communities represent 13% of the UK population, suggesting a disproportionately high number are critically ill from the virus.

40 coronavirus victims of Turkish Cypriot origin

Ahmet Raşit, Elmaziye Kanlı, Yıldıray Faik, Mustafa Ahmet, Kamil Ahmet, Şengül Besim, Mehmet Abdurrahman, Güney Osman Tarzan, Doğan Konkurt(Ahmet), Safi Levent, Mustafa Mehmet, Hasan Ali, Hüseyin Yusuf Şuft, Zülfiye Osman, Niyazi Numanoğlu, Mehmet Erdoğan, Rahme Erodğan Tayip,

Arif Niyazi, Samime Bilginer, Çetin Çetinkaya, Serdar Balı, Tayfun Salih, Ahmet Kamil, Osman Mehmet, Özkan Hüseyin, Hatice Yusuf Veci, Salise Tolgay Demirağ, Türker Enver, Hilmi Miksi,

Huseyin Kavaz, Sündüz Yusuf Ramadan, Ersin Mehmet Soyalan, Rifat Hassan Rezvan, Şakir Cemal,

Enver Arif, Hanife Mehmet, Mustafa Ibrahim, Emine Aziz, Ergün Osman, and Yaşar Cevahir.

11 coronavirus victims originating from Turkey

Hayri Ergönül, İlyas Güngör, Hacı Ali Doğuş, Melik Ejder Ülkümen, Serkan Aydın, Hüseyin Arslan,

Mahmut Özcan, Hasan Ergünel, Ali Nurdağı, Hüseyin Buz, and Mevlüt Bozdağ.


Main picture, top: three UK Turkish Cypriot victims of COVID-19: Mehmet Abdurrahman (London), Arif Niyazi (Birmingham), and Yaşar Cevahir (London)

News story updated 17.43, 7/4/2020