Turkish community welcomes high-profile guests to Ramadan meal in Haggerston

MP’s Diane Abbott and Meg Hillier, Speaker Jessica Webb, the Consulate General of Turkey and members of the Turkish Wrestling Federation were amongst high-profile guests invited to a special Ramadan meal in Haggerston last night.

They joined around 100 members of the Turkish community for an Iftar dinner in the Suleymaniye Cultural Centre, Kingsland Road, for an evening of celebration.

Consulate General of Turkey in London, Ahmet Demirok, wished guests a “very happy Ramadan” and said that it is a time of peace, of reflection on the Qur’an and bringing people together.

Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney north and Stoke Newington said: “It’s a pleasure to be here in one of the most beautiful mosques in London.

“One of the things that Ramadan reminds us of is the importance of unity and the fact that Islam is above all a religion of peace.

“We are seeing around us economic difficulties and the rise of xenophobia but at least here in Hackney all communities come together in peace and love and solidarity.”

She said that she has been “very proud” to represent the borough and its Turkish community during her 25 years as an MP in Hackney.

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Meg Hillier, MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch said it was a “great privilege” to be there at a time when Britain’s links with Turkey are growing.

Members of the Turkish Wrestling Federation, including General Secretary Mehmet Acak, were also invited to attend the dinner during their stay in London for the Olympics.

Speaker Jessica Webb said: “I see sport as a great unifier which is ironic as it’s about beating other people.

“I hope Team GB win loads of medals but that Turkey does too.”