TurkeyAugust 4 2022, 11:06 am

British MP Joins AKP-Deputies at British Turkish Association Event

Pho­tographs post­ed by the Turk­ish Embassy in Lon­don show that Qur­ban Hus­sain, a British Mem­ber of the House of Lords, par­tic­i­pat­ed in a dis­cus­sion about the 2016 failed coup attempt orga­nized by the British Turk­ish Asso­ci­a­tion (BTA). Oth­er atten­dees includ­ed two promi­nent mem­bers of the AKP par­ty and the Turk­ish ambas­sador to Great Britain. A post by the Embassy states:

July 15, 2021 Ambas­sador Yalçın attend­ed the pan­el orga­nized by the British-Turk­ish Asso­ci­a­tion in Luton and informed the par­tic­i­pants about the July 15 coup attempt and our coun­try’s strug­gle with FETÖ.

Read the rest here.

The Turk­ish gov­ern­ment refers to the Gülen Move­ment as the “Fethul­lahist Ter­ror­ist Organ­i­sa­tion (FETÖ).” Fethul­lah Gülen, the leader of the Gülen move­ment, lives in self-exile in the Unit­ed States near Say­lors­burg, Penn­syl­va­nia. The Turk­ish gov­ern­ment accus­es him of plan­ning the unsuc­cess­ful coup attempt in July 2016. Gülen was pre­vi­ous­ly one of Pres­i­dent Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s polit­i­cal allies and has mil­lions of fol­low­ers in his move­ment.

The pho­tographs and an event notice indi­cate the dis­cus­sion was attend­ed by Osman Aşkın Bak, for­mer Min­is­ter of Youth and Sports, and Zafer Sir­akaya, AK Par­ty Vice Pres­i­dent of For­eign Rela­tions. Sir­akaya co-found­ed the Union of Inter­na­tion­al Democ­rats (UID; for­mer­ly known as the Union of Euro­pean Turk­ish Democ­rats) in 2004 and served as its pres­i­dent from 2016 to 2018. Ger­man media has described the UID as a lob­by­ing group for Pres­i­dent Erdoğan and his AKP and which empha­sizes Turk­ish val­ues and customs.

The British Turk­ish Asso­ci­a­tion (BTA) describes itself as an umbrel­la orga­ni­za­tion estab­lished by more than 20 local Turk­ish com­mu­ni­ty orga­ni­za­tions. The BTA reg­u­lar­ly adver­tis­es and co-hosts events for the Turk­ish Embassy. In Decem­ber 2021, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the BTA met with a del­e­ga­tion of The Pres­i­den­cy of Turks Abroad and Relat­ed Com­mu­ni­ties (YTB). YTB was estab­lished in 2010 to coor­di­nate the activ­i­ties for Turks liv­ing abroad. The agency reports to the Turk­ish Min­is­ter of Cul­ture and Tourism.

Qur­ban Hus­sain joined the British Lib­er­al Demo­c­rat par­ty in 2003 after resign­ing from the Labour par­ty in protest of their sup­port for the Iraq war.


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