Support Turkey and Syria visas, Islington Council leader urges

North London council leaders are urging the government to take urgent action over visas for people from Turkey and Syria affected by last month’s earthquakes.

By Julia Gregory, Local Democracy Reporter

A woman stands at an outdoor podium, solemn people standing behind her
Council leader Kaya Comer-Schwartz at the earthquake vigil. Photo: Julia Gregory / LDRS

Islington’s leader Kaya Comer-Schwartz is amongst the politicians calling on Home Secretary Suella Braverman to urgently allow visa extension applications from Turkish and Syrian nationals in the UK on compassionate grounds for people whose visa are set to expire but are unable to go home because of the disaster.

They also want the government to speed up decisions for those waiting to enter the UK and set up a programme of temporary visas, which could be time limited for those affected by the disaster.

She said: “This way, the UK could play its part in supporting a region that is suffering so much right now and our community can try to be reunited with their loved ones.”

Islington, Hackney, Haringey and Enfield have large Turkish, Kurdish and Syrian communities who have been bereaved by the earthquakes and are fundraising to support relief work.

Others have family and friends ” left without shelter or supplies and need urgent assistance” and they are desperate about their welfare.

The letter which was also signed by Hackney’s mayor Philip Glanville, Haringey leader Peray Ahmet and Enfield’s cabinet member for community safety Gina Needs along with other senior colleagues described the “heart-warming” response from the community in North London.

They said: “People in our boroughs are determined to help in any way we can right now and we urge the Government to open up our country to those in need.”

They told the Home Secretary: “Our boroughs has a long history of welcoming those in need. Many are working towards becoming Boroughs of Sanctuary and local people opened their homes last year to those affected by the war in Ukraine. As we are now seeing another humanitarian emergency unfold, we are keen to help in any way we can. There could be millions of people displaced by the tragedy and it will be a long time before their homes, villages and communities are rebuilt.”

At a recent vigil held outside Islington town hall MP Jeremy Corbyn criticised the government as slow to act over visas for those affected by the disaster.

The Islington North MP said delays were “not helpful” and added “more could have and should have been done.”

AdBlocker Message

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.

About EC1 Echo

EC1 Echo is your free local independent community news website. We publish stories to the web across the week and offer a platform for local people to highlight what matters to them. EC1 Echo is a not-for-profit project in partnership with the Peel Institute. Please consider becoming a subscriber supporter from £3.00 per month.
We need your help

Submit your listing here