Senior politicians from the UK and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) are set to join thirty thousand people from the Turkish Cypriot community to celebrate its history and culture this weekend in London.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and former Conservative Party Leader, Sir Iain Duncan Smith MP, will join Ersin Tatar, President of the TRNC, on Sunday (July 2nd) to mark the Turkish Cypriot Cultural Festival at Donkey Lane in Enfield, north London.
President Tatar is expected to use the event to protest that there are no direct flights between the UK and the TRNC , which makes life so difficult for the hundreds of thousands of Turkish Cypriots who travel between the two countries.
Direct flights would also mean that the TRNC would become a more popular destination with British tourists.
Speaking before the event, President Tatar said:
“The Turkish Cypriot community is thriving in Britain. 300,000 Turkish Cypriots have been welcomed into British society.”
“I look forward to joining so many in London to celebrate our history, our culture and our important relationship with Britain and British people.”
“I want to further enhance our relationship with Britain by establishing direct flights between our two nations which will make it so much easier for the Turkish Cypriot community and will enable us to welcome so many more British friends to the TRNC.”
The festival, organised by the Council of Turkish Cypriots Association (CTCA), is the sixth to take place, with the inaugural event taking place in 2017. However, the past three have been held online because of the pandemic.
The event will bring together tens of thousands of families and friends from the Turkish Cypriot community.
There will be traditional folk dancing, an array of food stalls, arts and crafts and funfair rides and the day will be topped off with a live performance from Işın Karaca, the British-born Turkish Cypriot pop star.
One of the event organisers, Chet Ramadan said:
“After three years of marking this event online, it will be fantastic to celebrate face to face once again.”
This festival will bring the Turkish Cypriot community together to mark our unique culture.”