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1 Nisan 2014 tarihinde Islington City Hall'de Gurbet Yok (mu?) adlı serginin açılışında Sayın Başkonsolosumuz tarafından yapılan konuşma (İngilizce)
4/2/2014 - Konusma

The Right Honourable MP, Deputy Mayor, Executive Director Nijjar, esteemed members of the Turkish community, ladies and gentlemen

Today, I am honoured to be present at this event, which marks the significant contribution and integration of the Turkish community in London. Conspicuously, it is enhanced by the active involvement and leadership of Turkish women.

Literally, “gurbet” (from Arabic word ğarib) means the state of being stranger or foreigner. It is also used figuratively to denote being moneyless, powerless, and most importantly away from the homeland.

Although it has been three generations since the first wave of Turkish immigrants arrived in the UK, “gurbet” still maintains its somewhat bitter meaning and somewhat symbolizes the estrangement.

Today, the exhibition questions this negative connotation saying “Gurbet Yok- Gurbet no more.”
Since assumption of my post as the CG in London, I have been pleased to observe the reversal of the general mood that no more associates living in the UK as gurbet, but rather as an own place to be established.

Despite varying degrees of adaptation, I believe this is the right approach for the success and sustainability of the Turkish community living in this country. Such a change would be mutually beneficial provided the home country adopts a policy of integration and inclusiveness with a perspective to maximize the contribution of “willing” immigrant communities.

And it falls on the Turkish community here to actively participate in the British society and live as responsible and law-abiding individuals, while getting mutual respect for their national culture and customs.

To that end, education is of utmost importance to both establish a sustainable presence within the British society and maintain cultural ties with Turkey. In that, we still need more support from the British authorities.

As proven by history, the countries of settlement have profited from creativity, economic vibrancy, professional, intellectual and spiritual achievements as long as tolerance and acceptance are adhered. In such an environment, the Turkish communities will be in a better position to contribute to the British society.
The need for further dialogue notwithstanding, undeniably the Turkish-speaking communities of Turkish, Cypriot, Kurdish, Assyrian and Armenian heritage contribute to UK’s socio-economic, political and cultural life in a variety of different ways. Now, our community’s members contribute to the social life not only as blue-collar labour force but also as professionals such as academicians, scientists, doctors, journalists, engineers, lawyers, politicians, entrepreneurs, artists and sportsmen etc.
To build on this coexistential approach, it is advisable for policy makers and media to confront xenophobia, racism, discrimination and Islamophobia, and simultaneously adopt a responsible attitude to contribute to integration efforts through establishment of understanding, tolerance and also bolstering confidence between migrants and the host society.

I hereby declare my commitment to this coexistential option and am open to support efforts and initiatives to that end.

Thank you for your kind attention.

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