Foreign Ministry’s Influence Over Turkey’s Diplomacy Irrevocably Shrinks (II)

The accounts of two purged diplomats reveal a ministry in shambles. The once-revered diplomatic service is paralyzed by one-man rule, political favoritism and institutional rot.

Abdullah Ayasun
11 min readSep 24, 2019


A meeting of Russian and Turkish diplomatic delegations led by two foreign ministers.

Institutional Perspective

A Ministry in Shambles

Apart from stories of personal tragedies, there is an institutional dimension that radiates constant anxiety over the direction of Turkey’s foreign policy, the making of its diplomacy and over the fact that a once-revered ministry is coming apart amid the fraying professional culture and increasing nepotism.

Gokce’s personal tale offers a vivid glimpse into the internal transformation of a ministry once aspiring to have a generation of properly trained and well-educated diplomats standing up to the demands and tasks of the times.

Consistent with his personal witnessing during his brief service at the ministry, Turkey paid due attention to and mostly complied with international law in a not-too-distant past. But the shifting political winds at home, especially in the context of post-coup purge, dramatically altered Turkey’s behaviors toward international law as the Erdogan administration increasingly began to act as a wrecking ball in international politics, paying next to no attention to consensus-seeking and law-abiding mechanisms previously attached to the ethos of the Foreign Ministry. The law-abiding diplomacy, as Gokce’s accord reveals, has now become a bygone feature of history with little bearing on the politics of the present.

During his years in the Ministry, Gokce’s job was related to offering his expertise to examine the compatibility of bilateral or multilateral documents with state practice and the 90th article of Turkey’s constitutional law as well as international law.

“Additionally, I was also tasked with examining international law and established customary practice from the perspective of internal law structure of the Ministry.”

He offered thorough and comprehensive legal analyses regarding what kind of procedures the Ministry should follow with…



Abdullah Ayasun

New York-based journalist and writer. Columbia School of Journalism. 2023 White House Correspondents' Association Scholar. Twitter: @abyasun