US Embassy Turkey: Mourning Mustafa Akarsu

The following is an excerpt from Ambassador Frank Ricciardone on the passing of local guard, Mustafa Akarsu who was killed last week in the suicide bombing at the US Embassy in Ankara:

We lost a brave Turkish member of our Mission family. We are all are profoundly grateful for the Mustafa Akarsu, a hero who stood guard every day, was skillful and dedicated to his duty, and who died defending the Turks and the Americans who work at our embassy. We will never forget his ultimate sacrifice. We salute his bravery and his service to Turkey and to Turkish-American friendship. Our hearts go out to his family. 

In honor of our fallen colleague Mustafa Akarsu, I have directed that flags at the U.S. Embassy and our consulates in Turkey will fly at half staff until sunset on Wednesday February 6. On Monday at 13:13, we will observe a moment of silence in Mustafa Bey’s memory,  precisely 72 hours after the moment of his sacrifice.   

Screen Shot 2013-02-03

Photo via US Embassy Ankara/FB

Apparently, Mustafa Bey had also been thinking ahead to retire and to bringing his young son and daughter to the United States to study.  We’re not thoroughly familiar with SIVs, but we know that to immigrate to the United States under the special immigrant visa category, you need the principal beneficiary of a petition, typically the USG employee who has performed faithful service for at least fifteen years.  The principal officer usually recommends the granting of special immigrant status to an employee or former employee in exceptional circumstances and the Secretary of State approves the recommendation if he/she finds it in the national interest.  We’re not sure if Mustafa Bey was at this stage, but we hope that the USG will not forget his children.


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Photo of the Day: 67 Says Goodbye to Foggy Bottom

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says farewell to State Department employees at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on February 1, 2013.

Clinton farewell

[State Department photo/ Public Domain]

With Secretary Clinton in the photo above is Deputy Secretary Tom Nides (who is reportedly leaving his D/MR post), career diplomat and Deputy Secretary Bill Burns (rumored to be going to the UN sometime), and career diplomat and permanent Foggy Bottom fixture, Under Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy (61st Secretary James Baker said recently that “Pat Kennedy was here way back in the dark ages when I was here. He’s been here ever since”). Remains to be seen if the 68th Secretary of State will keep Mr. Kennedy around or send him off to do an overseas tour.

Secretary Clinton’s farewell remarks before leaving Foggy Bottom is here.  Remember that as Hillaryland empties out the upper floors, there will be multiple vacancies for Secretary Kerry to fill.  Ditch, get busy speed dialing!