Recalled Syria envoy to replace Halit Çevik
Emine Kart ANKARA
Önhon was recalled to Ankara in late March as Turkey temporarily suspended the embassy’s operations in Syria.Turkey’s recalled ambassador to Syria Ömer Önhon is likely to replace outgoing Deputy Undersecretary Halit Çevik shortly, a diplomatic source said Sept. 4.
The replacement will reportedly take place during the autumn reshuffle with a related decree published in the Official Gazette, the same source said, speaking under the condition of anonymity.
Çevik, who is in charge of Middle East affairs, including the Syria crisis, was recently appointed as Turkey’s new permanent representative to the UN as a replacement of Ambassador Errtuğrul Apakan who has returned to Ankara after completing three years of service in New York.
Önhon was recalled to Ankara in late March as Turkey “temporarily” suspended the embassy’s operations in Syria.
Apakan, meanwhile, who has long been a key architect of Ankara’s Cyprus policies, will retire shortly. Apakan was in charge in New York when Israeli commandos killed nine pro-Palestinian Turkish activists on May 2010 in a raid on the Mavi Marmara flotilla, which aimed to stop the embargo on Gaza, leading the UN Security council to release a presidential statement calling for an “impartial” investigation in June 2010.
Also in June 2010, it was Apakan who voted against a resolution on the imposition of new sanctions against neighboring Iran, as Turkey was a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council then.
In January 2011, during the third annual ambassadors conference, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu publicly praised Apakan’s skills and performance particularly during the Mavi Marmara incident.