Textiles and Food are Popular in England

It is estimated that around 150 thousand Turkish citizens live in England. This number includes the refugees and the undocumented Turks who immigrated to England in great numbers after the 1970s.
Of these, 75% live in London; 23% in the Midlands, mainly in Bristol, Manchester and Leeds; the rest live in Scotland and Northern Ireland.


The Turkish community is made up of Turks, who came for different reasons and at different times, and of Turkish Cypriots (about 130 thousand). Most of them are active in the textile and food sectors.

According to Home Office statistics, an average of 8 thousand Turks with student visas and 1 thousand with permission to work as “au pairs” enter England every year. Taking into account students entering in previous years, approximately 15 thousand students continue their education at language schools or universities annually.

England recognizes dual citizenship and foreigners, by fulfilling the requirements, can apply for British citizenship while keeping their original citizenship. There are no reliable data about the number of Turks who have obtained British citizenship. According to English statistics, in 2004 the number of Turks that have been granted British citizenship was 4885.

18 associations representing different sections of the Turkish community, aiming to establish a stage to improve the means of cooperation for the Turkish community, came together and formed the UK Federation of Turkish Associations.

The most influential association of Turkish businessmen is the Turkish British Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TBCCI), which was founded in 1980 as a nonprofit organization to provide its members with services and to encourage bilateral trade and investments between UK and Turkey. (www.tbcci.org) Among members of the chamber, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, are British and Turkish businessmen. The president of the Chamber is Remzi Gur, owner of the men’s clothing brand Ramsey.

Among the well-known Turkish member-businesses of the Chamber are Sabanci Bank, in business since 1983 in London; the construction company Enka; Beko, affiliate of the Koc Group; Sofra, a famous restaurant chain owned by Huseyin Ozer; Propa, a company in the construction sector; Gurmen LTd., owned by Remzi Gur; Vitra; Ocean Air; Calvin Textile; and companies active in the food sector such as TFC Confectionery, Gama Ltd., Eden Valley Group and Jay’s.

Another active association in the country is the Turkish Bankers Association, founded in 1990 by banking and finance employees. At seminars, series of conferences and panels, they bring together Turkish bankers living in London. The Association of Turkish Women in Britain, founded in 2002 (www15.brinkster.com/btkd) and TheTextile Employers Association are among Turkish business associations.

• Note: Data on Turks living in the UK provided by the Turkish Consulate General (www.turkishconsulate.org.uk)

1995    7350        780
1996    9660        1050
1997    8860        1210
1998    9260        1420
1999    7450        1390
2000    8100        1330
2001    5960        1330
2002    6510        940
Source: London Turkish Consulate General

(May 2006, 20th Issue)
Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07