Turkey reshuffles 40 ambassadors

Turkish Foreign Ministry reshuffles 40 ambassadors including ones in strategic locations such as Libya and Cyprus

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Turkish Foreign Ministry made a major rearrangement in its embassies reshuffling 40 ambassadors including those who serve in troubled areas and appointed 11 ambassadors to consultancies.

Ahead of a new government which is still to be formed after the June 7 general election, whose results didn’t allow the governing Justice and Development Party (AK Party) to form a single party government despite its 41 percent the vote, the Foreign Ministry decided to make changes in the embassies replacing the diplomats.

The Official Gazette published an injunction on Wednesday declaring the reappointment of ambassadors in many regions like Mosul, Cyprus and Libya.

According to the injunction, Ozturk Yilmaz, the former Turkish chief consul to Mosul in Iraq was appointed as the ambassador of Dushanbe, the capital province of Tajikistan.

ISIS militants assaulted Turkey’s Mosul Consulate and kidnapped Yilmaz and several staff members - a total of 49 citizens on June 11, 2014. Turkish officials carried out extensive initiatives which resulted in abductees safely returning to Turkey after 101 days of captivity.

Derya Kanbay was appointed as Turkey’s Cyprus ambassador, a critical position, to replace former ambassador Halil Ibrahim Akca.

The eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus has been ethnically divided between Turkish Cypriots in the north and Greek Cypriots in the south since 1974, when Turkey conducted a military intervention on the island in response to a coup carried out by the Greek junta.

The negotiations to resolve the issues between Turkish and Greek sides has been continuing for many years but failed a lasting solution so far.

The newly elected Turkish-Cypriot President Mehmet Akinci has met with Greek-Cypriot authorities on several occasions to rejuvenate the negotiations to resolve the decades-long dispute.

The new ambassador Kanbay served in Iraq and Slovenia as ambassador in the past and previously worked at Foreign Ministry headquarters.

Another significant change was in Turkey’s Afghanistan embassy, where Ali Sait Akin was appointed as the ambassador after serving as the consul general in Libya’s Benghazi.

The relation between Turkey and Libya was tensed after a Turkish vessel was attacked by forces loyal to Libya’s rival House of Representatives (HoR).

Libya has been divided between two parliamentary bodies since the HoR was formed after a largely boycotted election with a turnout of less than 20 percent.

Following this, armed attempts by HoR-loyal militias failed to forcibly disband the General National Council (GNC) - the Libyan parliament formed with the help of the UN and NATO following the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

TRTWorld and agencies