I was delighted to attend the 6th Alevi Cultural Festival at Hackney Downs Park on Sunday 10th June.
Now in its sixth year, the Alevi Cultural Festival continues to grow in popularity. This was my third time at Hackney Downs Park and it was a great occasion filled with music, dancing, fun and great food!
It's always a wonderful celebration of the Alevi community and is a great opportunity to raise awareness about their culture, religious beliefs and all that they do in the UK.
The festival also provides an important opportunity to reflect upon the situation faced by the community in Turkey, where Alevis nor their religion are recognised.
It was as a means to raise greater awareness of these issues, and to support the Alevi community in Parliament, that I and fellow parliamentarians came together to form the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Alevis last December. As a group our aim is to:
‘ensure that British Alevis are represented in Parliament by giving them a platform to express their legitimate socio-political aspirations, ensuring that they achieve the recognition for their rights and religion in Britain, Turkey and elsewhere.’
You can read our statement in support of the Festival here.
As the Chair of the APPG for Alevis I look forward to continuing our work with the community in the months and years ahead.