Nick Clegg at the Centre for Turkey Studies
Posted by jonathanfryer on Monday, 30th April, 2012
The Centre for Turkey Studies and Development (CTS) is little more than a year old, yet as Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg acknowledged at its first anniversary dinner at the Park Lane Sheraton Hotel this evening, its growth has surpassed even that of the Turkish economy. Several hundred people — predominantly Turks/Kurds/Turkish Cypriots in London — gathered for drinks and then a first class Indian dinner in the ballroom in the bowels of the hotel. The Turkish and Kurdish community has become one of the most visible in multicultural London and is beginning to make its mark in business, finance and the service industries. It is the architypal community that has got up and done stuff without waiting for handouts, or positive discrimination or any of the other things promoted by the Socialist Left. Of course, much of the credit for CTS’s extraordinary success is due to the dynamism of one amazing individual, Ibrahim Dogus, who has managed to whip up support across the three main political parties. Nick Clegg joked that the rate of exponential growth shown this year means we will have to gather in the O2 Arena in 2013 — and indeed, why not? The London-based Turkish/Kurdish/Turkish Cypriot community is big enough. I welcome the way it is increasinly integrating into London society, without losing its roots and identity, and I look forward to the day when there wil be a Turkish-speaking member of the London Assembly or the lower House of Parliament (currently there is one such member of the House of Lords, the LibDem Baroness Meral Ece).