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

Media Release

18 June 2007

Diplomatic Appointment: Ambassador to Turkey

Mr Peter Doyle is to be Australia’s new Ambassador to Turkey.  Mr Doyle will replace Jean Dunn who has been Ambassador since August 2004 and is expected to take up his appointment in September 2007.

Turkey is a strategically important country, located where Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East meet.  Australia’s long relationship with Turkey has grown rapidly in recent years and now encompasses enhanced cooperation on trade, agriculture and defence, joint projects to conserve the Anzac area in Gallipoli, and a Work and Holiday Arrangement for young Turkish and Australian citizens.  Turkish families have contributed to Australia’s cultural and economic developments since the late 1960s when many chose to make Australia their home. 

The shared experience of the Gallipoli campaign in 1915 has become a cornerstone of the relationship.  Gallipoli was a defining moment that forged Australia’s national identity, but it was also a historic event in the development of modern Turkey.  It has created, over time, an enduring bond of friendship between the two countries.  The Australian Government gratefully aknowledges the generous assistance of successive Turkish Governments in making possible the commemmoration at Gallipoli attended by many Australians each year.

Economically, Turkey is a growing market for Australia and two-way trade has the potential to expand beyond the $826 million achieved in 2006.  Turkey and Australia share a common stance on combating terrorism and people smuggling.  Like Australia, Turkey is committed to achieving peace and security in Afghanistan, and has twice led NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).  The importance of the bilateral relationship has been underscored by frequent high-level visits, including prime ministerial visits in 2005, the Governor-General’s visit in April 2006 and my own visit earlier this year.

Mr Doyle is currently Deputy Head of Mission in Kuala Lumpur and was Deputy Head of Mission in Dhaka from 1997 to 2000.  In Canberra, Mr Doyle has held a range of positions including Director, People Smuggling, Refugee and Immigration Section from 2001 to 2003 and Executive Officer in the Corporate Planning Section in 2001.  He has also worked on South and South-East Asia issues.

Educated at the University of Queensland, Mr Doyle holds Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degrees.  Mr Doyle is married with two children.

Media Inquiries: Mr Downer's office 02 6277 7500 - Departmental Media Liaison 02 6261 1555

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