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Women diplomats take lead in Turkiye's relations with Africa

March 7, 2022 at 2:57 pm

Turkish flag in Istanbul, Turkey [Cem Öksüz /Anadolu Agency]

Turkiye’s women diplomats have played an important role in building political, economic and cultural relations with African countries in the last 20 years, Anadolu News Agency reports.

Turkiye has been strengthening its diplomatic relations with Africa and is now among the countries with the highest number of diplomatic representations on the continent.

Women diplomats are at the forefront in 15 of the 43 embassies opened in Africa, including those in Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Togo.

Nur Sagman, the General Director of West and Central Africa region at the Foreign Ministry, shared her experiences as the former Ambassador to Guinea.

She stated that her perspective on life changed in Guinea, a West African country where she worked for about three and a half years, and that this task was a turning point in her profession.

“The sincere approach is unfortunately a style that African people do not come across from other countries. However, many African people have been victims of hidden agendas. Turkiye shows its difference here. As a Turkish diplomat, I have sincerely established friendships in my African duties with the power given to me by my State,” she said.

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Turkiye’s Ambassador to Rwanda, Burcu Cevik, said that she has been on duty since 2019.

“I am honoured to represent our country on a continent like Africa, where conditions are known to be difficult. Rwanda is a special country in its region and continent, as it has provided peace and security, and made strides in economic and social development after the genocide 28 years ago,” she said.

Cevik said that the advantage of being a female Ambassador was being a little more flexible in the field of communication.

“I can say that I did not encounter any special difficulties while performing my profession as a woman. I believe that dignity is not about gender, but about being able to do your job with integrity. Although diplomacy is traditionally seen as a male-dominated field in the world, I find it positive that the number of female diplomats, and the quality of the duties they undertake, are increasing in the world and in our country,” she added.