On Friday 29 March 2019, the East London Mosque & London Muslim Centre was privileged to host His Excellency Ümit Yalçın, the Turkish Ambassador to the UK. His visit to the Mosque was part of his mission to engage the Muslim community in Britain. Serving the largest Muslim communities in the UK, and with up to 7,000 attending the Jumu’ah (Friday) prayers, the Ambassador was able to glimpse the vibrancy of the East London Mosque.

He visited the Mosque’s recently opened Archives and Strongroom. Dr Jamil Sherif, Chair of the ELM Archives Committee, talked about manuscripts stored in the archives from the Ottoman era. The Ambassador then joined the Jumu’ah prayers, listening to a khutbah (sermon) on the topic of justice, delivered by Imam Mohammed Mahmoud who this week returned from a visit to New Zealand.

The Chairman of the East London Mosque & London Muslim Centre, Muhammad Habibur Rahman, welcomed the Ambassador at a special lunch reception attended by many important figures of the Muslim Community, including the Turkish, Malaysian, Rohingya and Uyghur associations, charities and foundations. He praised the Turkish nation for its achievements, which he had himself witnessed during a recent visit to Turkey: “The progress and the development we have seen in Turkey really inspired us. We are hopeful for the future of the Muslim community. We are very proud and encouraged by the strong voice from Turkey, particularly from the President of Turkey, on the issues of the Muslim world and injustice around the world.”

During his speech, the Ambassador expressed he was “impressed by the visit of Imam Mohammed Mahmoud to New Zealand as the representative of the Muslim community in the UK, and the achievements of the East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre, especially in education, in its activities with the Muslim Community, and also its Archives.”

“Turks are the part of the strong Muslim community in London, and I am proud of the cultural contribution by the Muslim community to this city,” he added.

Hakan Camuz from StokeWhite, former director of the Turken Foundation UK, joined Dr Abdullah Faliq, host and Member of the East London Mosque Trust, in thanking the Ambassador for taking the time to visit the Mosque within six months of his appointment as Ambassador to the UK. They encouraged the building of stronger ties, and to be part of making great changes for the betterment and advancement of Muslim communities.

His Excellency Ümit Yalçın, the Turkish Ambassador to the UK, delivering speech in London Muslim Centre

Chairman of East London Mosque Trust, Habibur Rahman, welcomes His Excellency Ümit Yalçın, the Turkish Ambassador to the UK

Dr Jamil Sherif, Chair of ELM Archive Committee with His Excellency Ümit Yalçın, the Turkish Ambassador to the UK

Turkish Ambassador Visit to ELM