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Name: Tan, Namik
Current Position: Previous Ambassador

Namik Tan has served as Turkey’s ambassador to the United States since February 2010.

Born in 1956 in Mardin, Tan graduated from the University of Ankara with a law degree.
He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1982 and worked in the Department of Maritime Affairs. His first overseas posting took him to Moscow, Russia, where he was stationed from 1984-1987.
Tan was then sent to the Turkish embassy in the United Arab Emirates (1987-1989), before returning home to serve in the Personnel Department (1989-1990) and the office of the president (1990-1991).
He first came to the United States in 1991 to serve in the Turkish embassy in Washington, DC. He remained until 1995, when he returned to Turkey to serve in the Turkish Grand National Assembly (1995-1996), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department of USA, Canada and Japan (1995), as head of section in the Department of USA, Pacific and Far East (1996), and chief of cabinet to the minister (1996-1997).
He turned to Washington in 1997 and remained at the Turkish embassy until 2001.
Upon his return to Turkey, he first served as head of the Department for the Americas, and then was named head of the Information Department in 2002.
He went on to serve as the spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2004 to 2007. During this period he was involved in one awkward incident relating to the United States. On June 14, 2006, Tan told reporters that Turkey took no part in the Bush administration’s extraordinary rendition program. However, a cable from the U.S. Embassy in Turkey, written just six days earlier and later released by WikiLeaks, stated that the Turkish military had, for four years, allowed the CIA to use Incirlik military airport as a refueling stop for prisoner transport flights as part of “Operation Fundamental Justice.”
Tan’s first ambassadorship was to Israel (2007-2009).
Before becoming ambassador to the U.S., Tan was deputy undersecretary of bilateral political affairs and public diplomacy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2009-2010).
Shortly after taking over as ambassador to Washington, Tan was temporarily recalled to Istanbul for consultations in response to the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee resolution recognizing the 1915 killings of Armenians as genocide.
Tan and his wife, Fügen, have two children.
Biography (Embassy of Turkey)
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