The Turkish Foreign Ministry will hire 110 new staff members to fill vacant positions without the requirement to have first taken the State Personnel Examination (KPSS), according to a job advertisement from the ministry.
The job advertisement published in the Official Gazette states that the candidates are required to have a bachelor’s degree, be between 18-35 years of age, have a good knowledge of English or another foreign language and have no criminal record.
The candidates — for both career diplomat and civilian positions — will instead take an examination to be administered by the ministry.
Unlike practices in the past, they are not required to have taken the KPSS exam.
The foreign ministry, known as the most prestigious state institution in Turkey, used to select its personnel from successful graduates of well-known universities who received the highest scores on the KPSS exam in addition to interviews conducted by the ministry.
Posting on X, previously known as Twitter, former ambassador Ünal Çeviköz criticized the ministry’s decision to employ personnel without the KPSS requirement, saying KPSS scores helped to find the best candidates. Çeviköz said it was a pity for the ministry to lower its employment criteria to this extent, adding that the professional credentials of the ministry’s personnel will become even weaker.
DB KPSS şartsız personel alımı yapacakmış! KPSS’nin seviye tespitine bir ölçüde katkısı vardı. Şimdi bu kaldırılıyor. Yabancı dil bilgisi için lise başarısına itibar edilecekmiş! Yazık! DB Meslek memuru kalitesi yıpranacak! Siyasi atama BE’ler yetmedi mi? https://t.co/2BSoJuX5zx
— Ünal Çeviköz (@UnalCevikoz) August 16, 2023
Following a coup attempt in Turkey in July 2016 when the Turkish government launched a purge of state institutions under the pretext of an anti-coup fight, the foreign ministry also lost many of its personnel who were removed from their posts through government decrees.
Former foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu revealed in October, in response to a parliamentary question, that 662 ministry employees had been removed from public service since July 20, 2016, when the government declared a state of emergency.
Çavuşoğlu said the purges were carried out in line with emergency decree number 375, which concerns public servants who are determined to have links to terrorist organizations or groups or structures that are, according to the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), involved in activities that threaten national security.
The minister did not reveal how many of the purged personnel were career diplomats and how many were civilian employees.
Most of the purged public servants had alleged links to the Gülen movement, which is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding the failed coup. The movement strongly denies any involvement in the abortive putsch.
Çavuşoğlu handed the ministry over to Hakan Fidan, the former head of MİT, after a new cabinet was established in June.
The Turkish government has long been the target of criticism for ending merit-based appointments in state agencies, engaging in favoritism and filling state posts with its cronies.