Major reorganization of Foreign Ministry set to take efect
Before its summer recess, Parliament passed a landmark law introducing major changes to the organizational structure of the Foreign Ministry, set to take effect as of today. Under the new law, the Foreign Ministry will be restructured from top to bottom in line with the requirements of Turkey's more active, multidimensional and multidirectional foreign policy in a globalized world. Turkish ambassadors will no longer represent only the president but also the government, and will be accountable to both. The ministry currently has a representative office in Istanbul but will soon open such offices in four provinces in Turkey's north, south, east and west. New directorates will be set up to deal with matters previously relegated to secondary importance, apparently inappropriately. Under the former regulations, diplomats had to be 45 years old to qualify for ambassadorships, but now diplomats who lack seniority but are at least 35 can be appointed as ambassadors to countries in various parts of the world, such as Africa. Career diplomats who haven't taken the title of ambassador now can also be appointed to foreign representative offices as ambassadors. The law gives the ministry's administrative officers the opportunity to have diplomatic careers, making it possible for them to reach the post of consul. The bill also introduces new incentives and rights to the ministry staff.