by Yilmaz Yazar
A new governmental decree signed by President Erdogan, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu for the new assignments of the Turkish diplomats revealed a big shake off in the Turkish missions in Australia.
Sydney’s Turkish Consul-General Seyda Hanbay-Arca has been re-assigned to 2nd position at the Sarajevo Embassy; a move that can be interpreted as demotion, while a veteran diplomat, Sydney’s former Consul general who is currently in the 2nd position in Canberra; Gulseren Celik was recalled to Ankara.
Melbourne Consul General Mehmet Kucuksakalli is intact in his position. Sources say that given his performance against the Gulen movement in Melbourne and show of his dedication to the Erdogan Regime, he is expecting to be assigned as an ambassador at the next governmental decree in September. Kucuksakalli is a regular at the Erdogan loyalists’ events in Melbourne.
At the Turkish Embassy in Canberra, and consulates in Sydney and Melbourne, almost all of the political officers were either recalled or reassigned with only 4 new assignments to these missions in total were made, leaving the missions severely understaffed. With the new assignments, there will only be one political officer per mission apart from the heads of the missions. Sources in the Ministry say that the situation is similar at almost every Turkish mission abroad after hundreds of the best diplomats were dismissed from the Ministry in the last 4 months.
After July 15, Erdogan has purged hundreds of diplomats from the Ministry, with trumped up allegations of supporting the coup; where as many argued that Erdogan has been using the failed July 15 coup attempt to purge the public service of any opposition.
New Consul-General of Sydney Melih Karalar is also known to be a strong supporter of Erdogan Regime. Until recently he was employed at the Human Resources section of the Ministry, the office which was in charge of profiling, sacking and purging of hundreds of Turkish Diplomats. Mr Karalar has previously served in Wellington and Addis Ababa.
It was recently revealed by Turkish Journal that Turkish consulates in Australia and imams in Turkish mosques were ordered to spy on and profile Turkish Australians according to their political views and connections with the Gulen movement./ Turkishjournal