Two Turks appointed to key NATO posts
Güven Özalp - BRUSSELSAt a time when the 28-member alliance is in bid to counter unprecedented security challenges both at home and abroad, two senior Turkish diplomats are being appointed to key posts at NATO.
Ambassador Tacan İldem, currently serving as the permanent representative of Turkey to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), is expected to be shortly appointed as NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy, while international career diplomat Burcu San, has already been appointed as the director of the Operations Division of NATO’s International Secretariat.
İldem, 59, is a career diplomat who entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey in 1978. He started his career by working as second secretary at the NATO Department at the headquarters in the capital city of Ankara. In 1981, İldem served as second and later first secretary in the Turkish Delegation to NATO in Brussels.
From 2006 to 2009, İldem served as permanent representative of Turkey to NATO. After holding post of director- general for international security affairs at the headquarters from 2009, he was appointed to his current post as the permanent representative of Turkey to OSCE in June 2011.
As the head of Public Diplomacy Division, which plays a key role in conveying the alliance’s strategic and political messages to opinion formers and to the public in general, İldem will report directly to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and advise Stoltenberg on public diplomacy issues as a member of the secretary-general’s senior management team.
As for San, 45, who worked in separate units of NATO in the past, she was already working at the Operations Division before being appointed as the director.