Diplomat. She was born in Zonguldak
in 1939. After graduating from Ankara Girls' High School and completed her
university education at Ankara University, faculty of Political Science. She
started to work in Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1961 and worked as UN Office
2nd and 3rd clerk. In August 1965, she became the second secretary in UN New
York Office and then the first secretary. Dinçmen worked in Tehran Consulate of
Turkey between 1968 and 1970; and also worked in several duties of Common Market
(European Union) and in 1982 she became the Hague Ambassador in Netherlands and
became the first women ambassador of Turkey.
Filiz Dinçmen explains her
appointment as the first woman ambassador as follows: "After graduating
from university, I have entered the Foreign Affairs Ministry. My husband was my classmate at university.
My first place of duty was the UN Representation in New York. We married there
and then we were appointed to Tehran. Then we were appointed to Ankara, Office
of Economic Affairs in the Ministry. Following this, I was the Permanent
Representative in Economic Community of Europe in Brussels. After returning
from Brussels, I worked at several duties in the Ministry for six years. In
1982, I was appointed as the first female ambassador of Turkey at La Hague
Embassy. I had some problems in this duty as I am a woman. But everyone helped
me afterwards. I remember this with gratitude."
Filiz Dinçmen is the first woman
ambassador who represented Turkey and she said that being the first is very
honorary. Dinçmen had the courage to be the first woman in diplomacy and she
has added that she never had any discrimination in her job as a woman. She has
emphasized that there are challenges in this job as Turkey has a country with
many problems to deal with, and she also said that representing Turkey abroad
is not an easy issue. She indicated that she did not have any problems in her
job: "I have seen that if you have the same skills with males, you have
more advantages. Women can be more compromising, convincing and effective. This
was very useful for me."
"Turkey has a problem of image
in foreign countries. It is not a well-recognized country" and she added
that being a female ambassador contributed positively to the country: "My
last duty was at Vatican. They called me as the illuminated face of Turkey. I
have realized that I introduced Turkey with its modern face as a woman".
When she was appointed to La Hague,
there was a period of assassinations on Turkish diplomats. She was protected
very strictly. Her husband was appointed to Qatar, so she did not see him for
two years. He was the greatest support for her. When her duty in Netherlands
ended (1984), she was assigned to Strasbourg before returning to Turkey. Her
duty was to challenge the representatives of EU as well. Turkey has
automatically assigned the Term Presidency in European Council due to military
coup. After the elections, Ozal government wanted to have the term presidency;
and it was very hard to realize this. So she had a very troublesome period.
When Turkey took the term presidency, she was the President of Ambassadors
Committee for 6 months.
After her duty as Turkey Permanent
Representative at European Council in Strasbourg; she became the first vice
undersecretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1988. Her four years in
Strasbourg was very problematic. She became the Foreign Affairs Ministry
Spokesperson in 1991; and Vienna Ambassador (1993-1997), Malta Ambassador. She
was the Vatican Ambassador between 2001 and 2004, the first Muslim ambassador
at the heart of Catholic world. Then she retired. She worked as the head
consultant of TGNA President Hikmet Cetin and had an accident in Kula in 1998
with her private car.
REFERENCE: Vatikan’da ilk Müslüman kadın büyükelçi (Hürriyet, 24 September