Leigh Turner

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For the American football player and coach, see Leigh C. Turner.
Leigh Turner in 2015

Robert Leigh Turner CMG (born 1958) is a British diplomat who has been HM Consul-General Istanbul and Director-General of Trade for Turkey, Central Asia and the South Caucasus from September 2012. As Consul-General he writes a regular blog published in English[1] and Turkish[2] and tweets as @leighturnerFCO.

From June 2008 to July 2012 Leigh Turner was British ambassador to Ukraine, resident in Kyiv. As ambassador, he also blogged including in Ukrainian.[3] From 2006-2008 he was Director, Overseas Territories in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Commissioner of the British Antarctic Territory; and Commissioner of the British Indian Ocean Territory.

Born in 1958, he graduated from Cambridge University in 1979 joining the Civil Service as an administrative trainee the same year. After working in the Departments of Transport and Environment, and the Treasury, he joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1983 and has had postings in Austria, Russia, Germany and Ukraine before Turkey.[4]

Whilst on unpaid leave, between 2002 and 2006, he wrote travel articles for the Financial Times, The Boston Globe and other newspapers. He continues to write novels and short stories in his spare time.

Turner was appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to British interests in Ukraine and Turkey.[5]

In December 2015 it was announced that Turner had been appointed as the British ambassador to Austria and permanent representative to the United Nations in Vienna. He took up this appointment in August 2016. [6]


  1. ^ English blog
  2. ^ Turkish blog
  3. ^ Ukrainian blog
  4. ^ TURNER, (Robert) Leigh’, Who's Who 2008, A & C Black, 2008; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007 accessed 7 May 2008
  5. ^ "(Supplement) no. 60728". The London Gazette. 31 December 2013. p. 3. 
  6. ^ Change of Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Austria and UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Vienna[1], accessed 15 March 2016|
Government offices
Preceded by
Tony Crombie
Director, Overseas Territories, FCO
Commissioner of the British Antarctic Territory
Commissioner of the British Indian Ocean Territory

July 2006 – April 2008
Succeeded by
Colin Roberts
Preceded by
Timothy Barrow
British Ambassador to Ukraine
June 2008 – July 2012
Succeeded by
Simon Smith
Preceded by
Jessica Hand
HM Consul-General Istanbul and Director-General of Trade for Turkey, Central Asia and South Caucasus
September 2012 – onward
Succeeded by