Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has announced changes to a host of overseas diplomatic posts. New ambassadors were named for London, Moscow, Athens, Lefkoşa, and the European Union.
First announced in August and confirmed again on Thursday is the news that Ambassador Ümit Yalçın is replacing Ambassador Abdurrahman Bilgiç in London. Bilgiç has served as Turkey’s envoy to the United Kingdom since 2014. His successor is aged 51 and currently serving as Undersecretary at the Turkish Foreign Ministry. Yalçın is an experienced diplomat having previously served in Rotterdam, Plovdiv, Baghdad and Moscow. He played a key role in helping to repair relations between Russia and Turkey after a Turkish pilot shot down a Russian plane in 2015.
Heading to Moscow is former Kiev Ambassador Mehmet Samsar, while Mehmet Kemal Bozay, formerly the deputy undersecretary responsible for EU Affairs, is named Turkey’s new Ambassador to Brussels.
In Lefkoşa, Ali Murat Başçeri will take over from Derya Kanbat. Başçeri is highly familiar with Cyprus affairs following his stint as Undersecretary of the Turkish Embassy in Lefkoşa, which ended in 2013. In 2015, he was appointed deputy head of Turkey’s Northeast Mediterranean Desk.
Another diplomat experienced in Cyprus affairs is Burak Özügergin, who was named as the new Turkish Ambassador to Athens.
Among the other ambassadorial appointments announced on Thursday morning by Minister Çavuşoğlu are Korhan Karakoç, the current deputy head of the Middle East Desk who is heading to Canberra, Kerim Uras (Ottowa), Cihat Erginay (Madrid), Fazlı Çorman (Oslo), Füsun Aramaz (Bucharest), Mustafa Pulat (Prague), Ümit Yardım (Vienna), and Murat Ateş (Brasília).
Kaan Esener, Basat Öztür and Sadık Arslan respectively become Turkey’s Representatives at the Council of Europe, NATO, and the United Nations in Geneva, while Presidential Press Advisor Lütfullah Göktaş is named Turkey’s new envoy to the Vatican.
Top photo: Ali Murat Başçeri (left), who becomes Turkey’s new ambassador to Lefkoşa, while Ümit Yalçın is appointed the new ambassador to London.