The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP
The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP

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Media Release

Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer
6 June 2001

Diplomatic Appointment: Ambassador to Turkey

I have today announced the appointment of Mr Jonathan Philp as Australian Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey.  Mr Philp will succeed Mr Ian Forsyth, who has been Ambassador since February 1998.

Australia enjoys warm relations with Turkey, a country strategically located at the meeting point of Europe and Asia.  Turkish migrants have contributed significantly to Australia's social and economic development over the years, and the local community now numbers in excess of 100,000.  Our two countries' shared experience of the Gallipoli campaign in 1915 has become a cornerstone of the relationship.  Gallipoli played a significant role for both countries in forging their nationhood, and it created at the same time a unique bond of friendship between the peoples of the two countries.  Australia warmly appreciates the generosity of successive Turkish Governments in making possible the annual commemorative events at Gallipoli which so many Australians attend. 

Turkey has become a valuable market for Australian exports and its importance will grow as its economy is increasingly integrated into that of the European Union. Turkey has also participated alongside Australia in the Peace Keeping Operation of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET PKO).  The importance of the bilateral relationship is reflected in the large number of high-level visits which have taken place in recent years, including, on the Australian side, by the Governor-General, the Prime Minister, and my own visit to Turkey in April this year.

Mr Philp is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  He served as Charge d'Affaires a.i. (1997) and First Secretary in Rangoon (1992-95) and Third Secretary in Riyadh (1986-88).  Mr Philp also completed a short-term mission in Wellington for CHOGM (1995).

In Canberra, Mr Philp's appointments have included Assistant Secretary, Diplomatic Security and Countermeasures Branch (1999), Acting Assistant Secretary, Staff Planning and Development Branch (1998), Director, Management Strategy and Coordination Section (1998-99), Director, Asian and Regional Issues Section (1997-98), and Director, Thailand/Burma Section (1996-97).

Born in Bangkok in 1960, Mr Philp is a graduate of the Australian National University and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with honours.  He is married to Sally Mansfield, also an Australian diplomat, and they have one son.

Media inquiries:
Matt Francis (Ministerial) 02 62777 500
Julie McDonald (Departmental) 02 6261 2534


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