Distance doesn’t do them part: Ambassador couple travel frequently to reunite
Musa Kesler - ISTANBUL
A diplomat couple, both of whom serve as Turkish ambassadors in neighboring Balkan countries, travel 250 kilometers frequently to see each other.
Aylin Sekizkök, who serves as Turkey’s ambassador to Sofia in Bulgaria, and Hasan Mehmet Sekizkök, who serves as Turkey’s ambassador to Skopje in Northern Macedonia, are a happily married couple with children, but are far apart because of their official duties.
The Sekizkök couple, who met and married while working in the Cyprus department under the Foreign Ministry, have been serving the ministry for more than 30 years.
The diplomats, with two children, were appointed as ambassadors for the first time last year.
Hasan Mehmet Sekizkök became Ankara’s envoy to Skopje in December 2019 after his diplomatic career in Prague, Nicosia, Berlin, Amman and the Vatican embassies.
Aylin Sekizkök started working at the ministry in 1991.
After serving as the consul-general of Milan, she held various positions in the central organization of the ministry. She was the deputy general manager of security and intelligence between 2015 and 2019.
On Jan. 15, 2020, she was appointed ambassador to Sofia, 250 kilometers from Skopje.
The husband and wife have been representing Turkey in the Balkan countries at the highest level at the embassies.
The spouse ambassadors, who were appointed to two neighboring countries with historical problems, also come together for work-related events on Balkan Turks.
The ambassador couple can also spare time for each other on weekends.
“Our Skopje ambassador is in Sofia. Life is beautiful with our loved ones,” she said in a tweet she posted on Twitter.
Aylin Sekizkök, who talked about being married to a diplomat in an interview during the period she worked in the ministry, had said that this profession helped overcome difficulties together.
“While I was working in the maritime department, a department dealing with Turkish-Greek problems, my spouse was also working in the Cyprus department. Love under the same assistant general manager has united our lives,” she had said.