Brief History of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey
The Foreign Service of the Republic of Turkey is founded on the well established traditions and legacy of Ottoman diplomacy with a long history. The application of this commanding diplomatic tradition as an effective instrument was one of the leading factors which enabled the Ottoman Empire to reign over a vast geography for several centuries. The foreign affairs of the Ottoman Empire were conducted by the “Reis-ül Küttap” (Head Secretary) until the 19th Century. However, the “Reis-ül Küttap” was also entrusted with other functions such as maintaining the records and administering the correspondence of the State. In 1793, during the reign of Selim III, the first permanent Embassy was established in London and Yusuf Agah Efendi was appointed as the first Ottoman Ambassador. Accordingly, the Ottoman Empire thereby adopted a diplomacy based on the principles of permanent representation and reciprocity in its diplomatic relations. The Ambassadors of the Ottoman Empire appointed to European capitals, while fulfilling their duties in respect to bilateral relations, also served as pioneers of modernization by accelerating the process of westernization and reform within the Empire by way of the information they transmitted to the Porte regarding the countries they were assigned to.