Merve Kavakçı appointed as foreign policy board member

Merve Kavakçı, who served as Türkiye's ambassador to Malaysia, has been appointed as a member of the Foreign Policy Advisory Board of the Foreign Ministry, according to a decree published in the official gazette on Aug. 13.

Kavakçı was banned from parliament in 1999 after she joined an oath ceremony in parliament wearing a headscarf following her election as a lawmaker from the now-defunct Virtue Party (FP). She was denaturalized from her citizenship when it was revealed that she acquired U.S. citizenship without permission before she ran for elections. Her citizenship was given back to her after a decision from the Council of Ministers in 2017.

According to the decree, Ambassador Serdar Kılıç, Türkiye's special representative for normalization talks with Armenia, was also appointed as a member of the Foreign Policy Advisory Board. Kılıç served as Türikye's former ambassador to Washington and Tokyo.

Kılıç was appointed as Türkiye's envoy for the normalization of talks with Armenia, according to a presidential decision published in the Official Gazette on July 1, after Ankara and Armenia decided to launch talks to end decades of hostiles. Kılıç and Armenian Deputy Parliament Speaker Ruben Rubinyan held four rounds of talks so far, with the latest decision to launch direct air cargo transportation between the two countries and open the land border to third country citizens.

Türkiye and Armenia have not established diplomatic ties since the early 1990s after the latter gained independence. Armenia's occupation of Azerbaijani territories in Nagorno-Karabakh was the primary reason for Türkiye to seal the borders with Armenia and not establish normal ties with it.

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