Minister for Foreign Affairs

Alexander Downer


23 December 1997



I have today announced the appointment of Mr Ian Forsyth as Australian Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey.

Mr Forsyth will replace Mr David Evans who has been Ambassador since April 1994 and who will be retiring from the Australian Foreign Service after serving for more than 38 years in Australia and various parts of the world.

Australia has a warm and friendly relationship with Turkey. This relationship is based upon the mutual respect formed out of the experience of the Gallipoli campaign. Australians continue to commemorate that and later campaigns, and each year many Australians choose to do so through a pilgrimage to the original ANZAC landing in Turkey.

The Australian Government considers Turkey to be an important country in a significant part of the world. It is committed to deepening and broadening the relationship, building on a trend which has been in process for some years. The Turkish-origin community in Australia provides a strong link between Australia and Turkey. Turkey is an important trading partner with considerable potential. The bilateral trade and commercial relationship has grown significantly in recent years both in the value and diversity of Australian exports. The fourth session of the Australia - Turkey Joint Committee for Trade, Economic and Technical Cooperation was held in Sydney in October 1997.

Mr Forsyth is a senior career officer of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He joined the then Department of Trade and Industry in 1968 and has served as Commercial Counsellor in Washington (1984-1987) and worked in the OECD Secretariat in Paris (1975-1977). From 1989-1991, Mr Forsyth was Assistant Secretary of Trade and Competitiveness Branch. From 1992-1996, as the Assistant Secretary of West Europe Branch, he was responsible for Australia's bilateral relations with Turkey, during which time he led Australian officials delegations to two

sessions of the Australia-Turkey Joint Economic Committee. In 1996 he managed the preparation of the publications Australia-European Union Trade and Investment: Towards 2000 and European Union Agriculture Policy Towards 2000: An Australian Perspective. Since January 1997, Mr

Forsyth has been the Assistant Secretary of the Environment Branch.

Mr Forsyth holds a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Western Australia and is married with three children.