Calderdale’s first citizens are ready to sample Turkish delight

Moving: Helen Silvester and Coun Nader Fekri
Moving: Helen Silvester and Coun Nader Fekri

THE Mayor and Mayoress are quitting Calderdale for a new life in Turkey.

But they are determined to return eventually to their beloved home in Hebden Bridge, where they have lived for the past 10 years.

The move has been sparked by Helen Silvester’s appointment as director of education for the British Council, in Turkey.

A three-year contract will see her taking responsibility for links with 15 countries to the east of the European Union, including Russia, the Balkans and Israel.

Her husband, Coun Nader Fekri, wants to complete his Mayoral year and will be leaving for Istanbul towards the end of 2012.

He still has two years to serve as a Liberal Democrat councillor in the Calder ward and is a member of Hebden Royd Town Council.

When he resigns there will be a by-election, possibly at the same time as the police commission elections in September.

Helen has worked for the British Council for 17 years. “It is a fantastic opportunity which I could not turn down, but I will miss Hebden Bridge terribly,” she said.

The couple have just bought a new home in the town and Nader is overseeing restoration work.

Their children, Usha, aged 10 and six-year-old Shwan will be moving to Istanbul. Their eldest son, Niru, 20, will continue studying English at university.

“It is really important for the young ones to experience living aboard because they will need to work with people from different cultures all the time,” she said.