Kurdish teen subjected to racist attack by AKP members at polling station in London

15-year-old Şerwan Tan, who wore Kurdish national clothes while accompanying his father voting in London, was forced to leave the polling station.

AKP members subjected a Kurdish teen to a racist attack because of his Kurdish national dress in London, where Kurds supporting the Green Left Party are heading to the polls with great enthusiasm. Şerwan Tan wore the blue national dress of the Hakkari region and accompanied his father to the polling station at 1 Old Billingsgate Walk.

15-year-old Şerwan Tan’s father is from Mardin and his mother is British. The Kurdish teen attracted attention with his national dress. Before entering the polling station, Şerwan Tan spoke to ANF and said: “Vote for the Green Left Party for democracy and freedom in Turkey and all over the world. Women in Turkey are not granted their rights. We need equality for men, women and everyone. More rights for the people in Turkey.”

Şerwan Tan was subjected to racist harassment by AKP people after he entered the polling station with his father. Disturbed by Şerwan's national dress, AKP observers asked Şerwan to leave the polling station. Tensions escalated when the AKP group claimed that Şerwan’s dress was a guerrilla uniform and called security guards to take him out. Some voters reacted by saying, "This is fascism. You are a fascist." While the Labor and Freedom Alliance officials said that the racist attack was a provocation against election safety, security guards took Şerwan out of the polling station.


Şerwan Tan said: "They threw me out because of my clothes. Those who did this are fascist people, who claimed that my dress was a 'uniform'. My dress is not a 'uniform', it is just Kurdish national dress, and my culture. My family and people from Kurdistan wear it. We didn't cause any trouble here. My father came here to vote, so I wanted to come wearing my national clothes, but they kicked me out. These are fascist people. They are not good people for Turkey. That's why we vote for the Green Left Party.”


Sibel Özçelik, a member of the British Election Coordination of the Green Left Party, reacted to the racist attack at the polling station. She emphasized that there was no dress code in the area, adding: "What Şerwan was subjected to is racism and fascism. Unfortunately, discrimination in Turkey has come here. This is fascism and a crime.”

The lawyer said that Şerwan's outfit was national dress. She said: “Symbols that represent different beliefs and views are seen at the polling station and we respect that. This is a requirement of democracy. However, AKP members said that Şerwan’s outfit was a 'guerrilla uniform' and asked him to leave the polling station. This is an illegal request because he was discriminated against because of his dress. This is complete discrimination. The person we are talking about is a 15-year-old teenager. This is pure fascism.”

The lawyer concluded: “It is time to unite against fascism. Don't say that a single vote does nothing. It is exactly your vote that will allow Şerwan to come here freely. Let's fight together more for Şerwan's free future."