Friday, 10 January 2014

Turkey’s London ambassador Ünal Çeviköz withdrawn as part of global diplomatic reshuffle


Turkey’s ambassador to the United Kingdom is among 12 ambassadors that have been withdrawn as part of a major reshuffle of posts by the Turkish Foreign Ministry. Ünal Çeviköz, who has served in London since July 2010, will be replaced by Abdurrahman Bilgiç, a former ambassador to Tokyo.

According to a report posted by the Anadolu News agency on Monday, Ahmet Davutoğlu, Turkey’s Foreign Minister, personally contacted all of the affected ambassadors to inform them of the changes. They include the ambassadors to the USA, France, Switzerland, Mali and the Czech Republic.

On hearing the news, Baroness Meral Hussein-Ece, vice-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Friends of Turkey Group, was one of many to express their sadness about Mr Çeviköz’s imminent departure. She said: “Ambassador Çeviköz has been an excellent ambassador for Turkey, greatly respected by British Parliamentarians for the impressive way he has worked to promote and bring greater understanding of Turkey and its people in the UK. We wish him and Mrs Emel Çeviköz well.”

The Turkish Embassy in London has yet to make a formal announcement on the changes or on when Mr Bilgiç will take up his post. Born in 1963, Abdurrahman Bilgiç graduated from Ankara University’s Faculty of Political Sciences and entered the Foreign Ministry soon after in 1986. Among his overseas posts, the career diplomat has served in Turkey’s Munich Consulate and briefly as ambassador to Japan. For the past three years he has been the undersecretary to MİT – Turkey’s National Intelligence Organisation.

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