Ambassador Ümit Yalçın has been appointed as the new undersecretary of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to succeed Feridun Sinirlioğlu, who was posted to New York as the permanent representative to the United Nations in mid-August.
Yalçın, who was in charge of Middle Eastern affairs within the ministry, is said to have played an active role in the repair of relations between Turkey and Russia after the Turkish air force downed a Russian jet for violation of Turkish airspace on Nov. 24, 2015. In an effort to mend ties, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan apologized to Russia and paid a visit to Moscow in June after Russia banned charter flights to Turkey, which dealt a huge blow to the country’s tourism industry.
Yalçın also served as ambassador to Kuwait and Russia in his tenure as a career diplomat.
His predecessor, Sinirlioğlu had been under the spotlight in the Turkish media for arguably developing close political ties with the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.