Seminar examining Kurdish and Turkish youth in London:
Organised by the Haringey-based Elbistan Community Centre (El-Com), the panel was attended by sociologists İpek Demir, from Leicester University, and Ümit Çetin, from the University of Westminster. The panel debated “Identity, culture shock and their reflections on Kurdish Alevi youths”.
Mr Çetin, who spoke first in the talk that was chaired by El-Com director Aydın Doğan, began by relaying data on the number of suicidal youths from Turkey living in London. He noted that those who committed suicide were entirely male and that the triggers were such issues as a clash of generations, the absence of a cultural identity and the difficulties with adapting to a different culture.
He said there was an ideological lifestyle driven by the media based on wealth and becoming rich and that this was effective in Turkish-speaking communities as much as in others. He said that any young people would turn to gangs and criminal groups in an attempt to get rich quick.
Mr Çetin said he had spoken to many families who had lost a son to suicide and that all had exhibited a lack of communication, and that this also applied in their school lives.