Female Turkish diplomats driving Africa policy

Female Turkish diplomats driving Africa policy

ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
Female Turkish diplomats driving Africa policy

Esra Demir, Turkey’s ambassador to the Ivory Coast. AA photo

Female Turkish ambassadors are driving policy in a number of African nations, including Mozambique, the Ivory Coast, Namibia and Uganda. 

Aylin Taşhan was appointed as Turkey’s ambassador to Mozambique in 2011, making her the first female Turkish ambassador to an African country.        

“Although living in Africa [has] some risks, such as security and health, I forgot about all the difficulties that I had faced after seeing the rapidly developing relations between the two countries,” Taşhan said.      
Mozambique’s parliament has 40 percent female representation and women head five out of 22 ministries, including health, labor and state administration.        
“Despite the great distance, I do not feel so far away from my family and friends in the south of Africa,” she added.        

Esra Demir, Turkey’s ambassador to the Ivory Coast, said her first foreign assignment was to Senegal.        
“I recommend Africa to other Turkish diplomats. Africa is not well known in Turkey, but I think it would be a very good experience for them, despite various deprivations,” she said. 

Deniz Çakar, the Turkish ambassador in Windhoek, Namibia, said she was very happy when she was appointed to the country.        

“When I learned that I was appointed to Namibia, I started to search for schools for my son who was studying secondary school. I found the school, felt relief and thought my exciting adventure would start,” she said.        

Sedef Yavuzalp, the Turkish ambassador to Uganda, served as the head of West Africa and vice president of East Africa in the Turkish Foreign Ministry for four years before coming to Kampala.        

She said that during her previous missions she had a good chance to learn about Africa and Turkey’s Africa policy very well.