Society, Politics, and Economy in Modern Turkey: Sociology of Turkey - Maintained by Tugrul Keskin
We are at a point in our work when we can no longer ignore empires and the imperial context in our studies. (p. 5)
― Edward W. Said, Culture and Imperialism

Monday, June 9, 2014

A Legal Alien: Working at State as a Turkish Diplomat

A Transatlantic Diplomatic Exchange Fellow from Ankara discovers more similarities than he expected when he spends a year in Foggy Bottom. 


American Foreign Service Association - June 2014

However long my career as a Turkish diplomat lasts, I will always cherish my year (2011-2012) at the U.S. Department of State with the Transatlantic Diplomatic Exchange Fellowship Program. This unique program allows diplomats from NATO and the European Union to work at State for a year. The Turkish Foreign Ministry highly values this opportunity for its diplomats to experience the U.S. foreign policymaking process from the inside, and to facilitate better relations between our two countries.
Excited as I was to be assigned to such an important program, I must confess that I had no real idea just how challenging—and rewarding—an experience it would be. It took longer than I expected to overcome a difficult-to-explain sense that I was some sort of impostor—a feeling exacerbated whenever I met someone who treated me as one of his or her “ordinary” American colleagues. In fact, many of my State Department colleagues were genuinely surprised to learn I am a Turkish diplomat, especially those who had never before met a Transatlantic Diplomatic Fellow.

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