From tailor to Speaker - introducing the new Speaker of Hackney

Stoke Newington Central Councillor Muttalip Unluer has been announced as the new Speaker of Hackney.

As a father of eight, family life and education are important issues for Cllr Unluer and as the civic representative for the borough, he will be raising money for local charities, including the East London Parents Community Project which works with young people who find themselves in difficult situations.

Says Cllr Unluer: “My wife recently attended a parenting course offered by this organisation which runs youth development programs and parenting courses, particularly for ethnic minority and single parents. She said that even after bringing up eight children, she still found the course useful and inspirational. I am sure with more funding they could provide many more courses in order to benefit many different families and parenting groups that sometimes find it difficult to cope.”

Cllr Unluer is a long-time Hackney resident and he has been a ward councillor for Stoke Newington Central since 2002. His new role will see him chair Full Council meetings, attend numerous events throughout the year and welcome visitors to the borough.

Giving people a warm welcome to the borough is something that is very important to Cllr Unluer, who feels that Hackney’s inclusiveness is one of its major strengths. He says: “Hackney is a special place because it welcomes everyone, regardless of their gender, race, religion or culture. I have lived here for 35 years, except for a few years in Waltham Forest. My family returned to Hackney here because we felt more accepted and at home.”

Cllr Unluer recalls that he first arrived in the borough on a ‘cold and foggy night in November 1973’. Before that he had been studying at college in Ankara, Turkey but his course was cut short due to a military coup in 1971. This led to him becoming a tailor’s apprentice, which allowed him to save enough money to come to Europe.

Cllr Unluer has had several local businesses over the years and now continues to work in the borough. Outside of work, he is an active member of the Turkish community. Among the many organisations he has been involved with he was a founding member of both the Turkish Islamic Cultural Trust and the UK Turkish Islamic Association.

For more information about the Speaker’s charities or if you want him to attend an event, call: 020 8356 3350; email:; or write to: The Speaker, c/o the Speaker’s Office, Room 118b, Town Hall, Mare Street, E8 1EA.