American Ambassador to Turkey James Jeffrey speaks fluent Turkish

Thursday, February 05, 2009

I'm not sure just how many ambassadors speak the language of the country they represent the US in, but I remember situations such as Paul Bremer being in charge of the reconstruction of Iraq in 2003 relatively close after the invasion so it doesn't seem to always be the case that a diplomat will speak the language.

James Jeffrey, the new ambassador to Turkey, does speak Turkish however:

(and his Wikipedia page says he is fluent in French and German as well)

Amerika'nın yeni büyükelçisi James Jeffrey'den sıcak mesajlar. Jeffrey iki ülkenin işbirliğine devam edeceğini söyledi. Büyükelçinin konuşmasının tamamını Türkçe yapması dikkat çekti.
There were some warm messages from James Jeffrey, the new American ambassador to Turkey, as he said that cooperation between the two nations would continue. His speech attracted notice for being conducted entirely in Turkish.
Başbakan Erdoğan ile görüşmesinden sonra basının sorularını yanıtlayan büyükelçi şunları söyledi:
The ambassador said the following after his meeting with Prime Minister Erdoğan in reply to questions from the press:
"Ortak konuları görüştük. Türkiye iki güçlü müttefik ülke. İşbirliği içinde çalışmalarımaz devam edeceğimize inanıyorum. Ortadoğu barışı hakkında genel görüştük. İyi bir ilişkimiz var. Türkiye ile beraber çalışıyoruz. Umut var onun için sayın Mitchell bölgeye geldi."
"We discussed common issues. The United States and Turkey are two strong allies (note: I supplemented this sentence with another article here), and I believe that we will continue to work together in a spirit of cooperation. We discussed Middle East peace in general. We have good relations and we'll work together with Turkey. There's hope there and that's why (special envoy to the Middle East George) Mitchell has come to the region."

I'm not entirely certain but it looks like the previous ambassador, Ross Wilson, didn't speak Turkish but apparently knows Russian and Czech, and the fact that the article I'm writing this post about has the title "New American Ambassador Speaks Turkish" probably means that the previous one didn't. Strange though, as he also spent three years in Azerbaijan as the ambassador from 2000 to 2003. I suppose he could have easily gotten by in Azerbaijan at the time since it wasn't all that long after the collapse of the Soviet Union.


  © Blogger templates Newspaper by 2008

Back to TOP