Turkish Foreign Ministry undergoes major reshuffle
CİHAN photoA major reshuffle of some 40 ambassadors has gone into effect, with Öztürk Yılmaz, the former Turkish consul general to Mosul who was taken hostage last year along with 48 others by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants for 101 days, appointed as ambassador to Tajikistan’s capital of Dushanbe.
With a decree published in the Official Gazette on July 1, a veteran career diplomat, Ambassador Derya Kanbay, has been posted to Nicosia shortly after the long-stalled U.N.-brokered peace talks, which are seen as the best chance in years to reunify Cyprus after four decades of division, were launched on May 15.
Kanbay’s predecessor, senior economy bureaucrat Halil İbrahim Akça, was posted to the island specifically at that time because of the Turkish government’s strong desire for the implementation of austerity measures aimed at a dramatic reform of the Turkish Cyprus economy.
Kanbay, who served as ambassador in Iraq and Slovenia in the past, was most recently working as the head of Board of Audition at the Foreign Ministry headquarters.
As for Yılmaz, with this reshuffle, he has been promoted to the title of ambassador. It is the first time that he will represent the Republic of Turkey as its top diplomat in a capital city, Tajikistan’s Dushanbe.
With the decree, 16 ambassadors have been posted to the Ankara headquarters, while 24 ambassadors have been posted to various countries, either as ambassadors or permanent representatives to international organizations.
Among them, Ali Sait Akın, who most recently served as Turkey’s consul general in Libya’s Benghazi, has been appointed to a key post, becoming the country’s ambassador to Afghanistan.
Çağatay Erciyes, outgoing permanent representative of Turkey to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), has been posted as ambassador to Lebanon.