I'm sad to be the bearer of the news that Nilgun Canver, 59, has passed away following a struggle with liver cancer.
A Mattison Road resident, Nilgun arrived from Istanbul as a student in the 1970s. She served as a councillor for St Ann's ward for sixteen years from 1998 to 2014. For much of this period she was also the lead member on. the Council for a number of different portfolios including crime, community safety and the environment. She was a fierce champion of Harringay's interests, in particular those of our high street and of the ward she represented.
Nilgun was a councillor in Harringay during the locally troubled times 15-20 years ago which culminated in shootings and deaths on Green Lanes. Following those difficult times, she led the revitalisation of Harringay with her chairing of the Green Lanes Strategy Group.
Beyond Harringay, Niligun was the founder of the Labour Friends of Turkey Group and an active participant for the Labour Party in European politics. She is survived by her only son Burak.
Nilgun was a well-known figure on Green Lanes and will, I'm sure, be very much missed by family, friends and Harringay residents.
I am very sad to hear of this. She was a good egg and worked hard for us all. It was a shame she was hounded out of politics by a vindictive police officer and a compliant Labour Party leadership (link).
From one who occasionally twitted Nilgun, this is sad news. I'll miss my near neighbour here on Mattison, and I agree completely with John's comment.
I'm so sorry to hear this.
Nilgun was a real asset to our community.
For me, the high point of Nilgun’s distinguished career occurred on 20th September 2009, when Harringay gave a party for the whole of London, and Nilgun was able to exclaim from the stage, “We have a festival!”
This was a particular triumph for her because it had been only a few years since police helicopters had hovered above that very spot in the aftermath of the murder of an innocent man by organised criminals, and because no-one had done more than she had done to further the process which brought our community into the light from that dark day.
Much of the hard work was done by the Green Lanes Strategy Group. The tasks of that Group included not only the organisation of events like the festival, but also the planning of permanent improvements to Green Lanes itself. All of this involved making very many decisions and negotiations with outside bodies in a seemingly endless series of seemingly endless committee meetings. Yet despite our political differences and the effort which was required, the meetings were always carried out with good humour and with full attention to our common purposes. In that worthwhile work, Nilgun’s contributions were always of great value.
Another memory which I have of her is one of our attendance at an event organised by the publishers of a directory of Turkish businesses in the UK. The gathering was a particularly distinguished one involving, as I recall, a large number of senior business people and university professors, as well as diplomats and the first female MEP of Turkish descent. My memory is that she was recognised as a leading light of that increasingly important community, both informally and from the podium itself.
I shall miss seeing her in Green Lanes, but will often think of her when I see the improvements there which she did so much to bring about.
This is very sad news. I worked alongside Nilgun for several years on the Strategy Group and echo completely David and Karen's comments on her determination to get the best for Harringay and her willingness to work with everybody towards that goal. Her legacy lives on around us as we walk round the 'hood.
Very sad news. Thoughts with her nearest and dearest.
I just saw in an email from the LCSP that if anyone would like to make donations (in lieu of flowers) to the IMECE Women's Centre (of which Nilgun was a founder) their website is here.
Nilgun was a true champion. She achieved so much and she never forgot/overlooked individuals. She was exceptionally good to us when we were a young family needing help for our disabled child. She quietly supported many, many individuals in need.
How sad that she has died so young. I send condolences to her family and friends.
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