Chairman lasts barely in a year at head of community ‘umbrella’ organisation
THE FOUNDING chairman of an organisation charged with representing Turkish speakers abroad has shocked the community with his resignation.
Dr Mustafa Camgöz said he was standing down as chairman of Turkuas-UK because his cancer research at Imperial College London had reached a critical phase and now demanded all of his time.
He took the position when Turkuas, the Assembly of Turkish-speaking Communities in the UK, was established in May last year with funding from the Turkish government.
At a press launch in the presence of Turkey’s ambassador and consul-general, Dr Camgöz had hailed the assembly as an initiative to develop projects in conjunction with selected organisations in Britain and thus address some of the communities’ problems.
He added they had been careful to seek the support of different sections of the community and that it had become increasingly important for Turkish-speaking citizens to be represented in British state organisations.
NOT UNIVERSALLY WELCOMED
But the new assembly had not been met with universal praise.
Timur Doğruyol, the president of the Federation of Turkish Associations in the UK, spoke at the meeting of his astonishment at not being informed of the work to established Turkuas-UK.
“We don’t doubt your good intentions,” he told the meeting, “but we are disappointed to have heard about it just one day before the meeting. We are concerned that initiatives such as these could be seen as an attempt to divide the community.”
The assembly’s membership included energy consultant Mehmet Öğütçü; journalist and economist Nazif Akpınar; Hakan Camuz, solicitor and head of MUSIAD-UK; Itır Sökmen, president of the Association of Turkish Women in the UK; Oxford University political science lecturer Dr Hasan Turunç; security consultant Erdal Koyuncu and teacher Necmi Hasanoğlu.
There were also representatives from the Alevi community (Hüseyin Keskin), the Mevlana Rumi mosque (Fatih Kahraman), the Turkish Islamic Culture Centre (Erdal Doğangüzel) and the businessman Atilla Abacıoğlu.