Volkan Bozkır

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Volkan Bozkır
Volkan Bozkır April 2016 (26358127551) (cropped).jpg
President of the 75th UN General Assembly
In office
16 September 2020 – 14 September 2021
Preceded byTijjani Muhammad-Bande
Succeeded byAbdulla Shahid
Minister of European Union Affairs
In office
24 November 2015 – 24 May 2016
Prime MinisterAhmet Davutoğlu
DeputyAli Şahin
Preceded byBeril Dedeoğlu
Succeeded byÖmer Çelik
In office
29 August 2014 – 28 August 2015
Prime MinisterAhmet Davutoğlu
DeputyAlaattin Büyükkaya
Preceded byMevlüt Çavuşoğlu
Succeeded byAli Haydar Konca
Chief Negotiator for Turkish Accession to the European Union
In office
29 August 2014 – 28 August 2015
Prime MinisterAhmet Davutoğlu
Preceded byMevlüt Çavuşoğlu
Succeeded byBeril Dedeoğlu
Member of the Grand National Assembly
Assumed office
12 June 2011
Constituencyİstanbul (II) (2011, June 2015, Nov 2015, 2018)
Permanent Representative of Turkey to the European Union
In office
15 December 2005 – 21 October 2009
PresidentAhmet Necdet Sezer
Abdullah Gül
Preceded byOğuz Demiralp
Succeeded bySelim Kuneralp
Ambassador of Turkey to Romania
In office
23 August 1996 – 17 August 2000
PresidentSüleyman Demirel
Ahmet Necdet Sezer
Preceded byYaman Başkut
Succeeded byÖmer Zeytinoğlu
Personal details
Born (1950-11-22) 22 November 1950 (age 70)
Ankara, Turkey
Political partyJustice and Development Party (AKP)
Spouse(s)Nazlı Bozkır
Alma materAnkara University

Volkan Bozkır (b. 22 November 1950, Ankara) is a Turkish diplomat and politician who has served as the President of the United Nations General Assembly since 2020. He served as Minister for European Union Affairs from November 2015 to May 2016 and previously held the same office from August 2014 to August 2015. He concurrently served as the Chief Negotiator for Turkish Accession to the European Union during the same time.

He was elected as the president of The United Nations General Assembly on 17 June 2020 for the 75th session,[1][2] becoming the first-ever Turkish diplomat to hold this position.

Early life and education[edit]

Volkan Bozkır was born in Ankara, Turkey. He graduated from Faculty of Law at the Ankara University. He speaks fluent English and French.


He has served as a Member of Parliament for İstanbul's second electoral district since the 2011 general election. Volkan Bozkır is a career diplomat and a defendant of the Turkish position regarding the Armenian genocide but also its anti-terror laws. While being the Turkish Minister for the European Union (EU) and also the leading negotiator in the Turkish accession talks to the EU denied there existed an Armenian genocide. After the EU issued a draft for the Turkey progress report in 2015 including a demand that Turkey accepts that there existed an Armenian genocide, he declared that Turkey wouldn't answer an EU report containing the term genocide.[3] Also in 2015, he criticized Pope Francis for including the term Genocide in a sermon he held in a mass at the St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.[4] As the EU demanded that Turkey adapts its anti-terror regulations according to EU normatives. Bozkır opposed the demand stating the anti terror laws regulations are already in line with the EU demands.[5] As the EU Parliament voted for the accession talks to be suspended in march 2019,[6] Bozkır, as the head of committee for foreign affairs in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey condemned the vote.[7]

On the 17 June 2020, he was elected as the president of the 75th General Assembly of the United Nations, which is to take place September 2020 as the sole candidate with unanimous support from the 178 UN member states that were present in voting that was conducted by secret ballot.[8][9] Armenia, Greece and Cyprus, while initially supportive, decided later to oppose the candidacy, allegedly due to diplomatic conflicts.[10]

Timeline of career[edit]

Function Office Year
Vice-consul General Consulate in Stuttgart, Germany 1975–1978
Second Secretary & First Secretary Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq 1978–1980
Chief of Section Bilateral Economic Department 1980–1982
First Secretary & Counselor Permanent Delegation to the OECD in Paris 1982–1986
Deputy Head of Department Multilateral Economic Affairs 1986–1987
Foreign Policy Advisor Prime Minister Turgut Özal's Office 1987–1989
Consul General New York, United States 1989–1992
Chief of Cabinet & Chief Foreign Policy Advisor President Turgut Özal & President Süleyman Demirel 1992–1996
Ambassador Bucharest, Romania 1996–2000
Deputy Secretary General for EU Affairs Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2000–2003
Deputy Under Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2003–2005
Ambassador Permanent Representative of Turkey to the European Union 2005–2009
Secretary General for EU Affairs Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2009–2011
Minister of EU Affairs Ministry of EU Affairs 2014–2016
President of the 75th UN General Assembly United Nations headquarters in New York City 2020–2021

Honours and medals[edit]

Ribbon bar Award or decoration Country Date Place Note Ref.
Star of Romania Ribbon.PNG Order of the Star of Romania  Romania 1999 Bucharest The Order of The Star is the highest civil decoration of Romania. [11]
ITA OMRI 2001 GC BAR.svg Knight of Order of Merit of the Italian Republic  Italy 2 June 2014 Ankara The Order of Merit is the highest ranking honour of the Republic of Italy. [11]
Sitara-i-Imtiaz Pakistan.svg Crescent of Pakistan  Pakistan 28 May 2021 Islamabad Second highest civilian award of Pakistan [12][13]


Bozkır caused controversy in 2014 when he reported during a press conference that Turkey would no longer participate in the Eurovision Song Contest after Conchita Wurst's victory in Eurovision Song Contest 2014.[14][15] On September 5 the General Manager of TRT, İbrahim Şahin, officially announced that Turkey would not return to Eurovision Song Contest 2015 in Vienna.[16] Bozkır's comments during the press conference included "Each time I look at the Austrian who won the Eurovision Song Contest, I say 'Thankfully, we're not participating in this contest anymore.'"[17]

Pakistan, in May 2021, conferred its second highest civilian award Hilal-e-Pakistan to Volkan Bozkir when he was the visiting UN General Assembly President. During his visit to Pakistan, Volkan Bozkir said that it was Pakistan's duty to raise the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in the United Nations "more strongly" and also that there was a lack of political will to find a resolution to the Kashmir dispute compared to the Palestinian issue, even though both have been festering for an equally long period." A day later, the Ministry of External Affairs of India expressed strong opposition to Bozkir's remarks stating that "When an incumbent President of the UN General Assembly makes misleading and prejudiced remarks, he does great disservice to the office he occupies. The PGA's behaviour is truly regrettable and surely diminishes his standing on the global platform," [18]


  1. ^ "No: 123, 17 June 2020, Press Release Regarding Ambassador Volkan Bozkır's Election to the Position of the Presidency of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly". mfa.gov. 17 June 2020.
  2. ^ "General Assembly of the United Nations". www.un.org. Retrieved 2021-05-29.
  3. ^ "Reaction from Bozkır to EP's Turkey Report". Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. 2016-04-15. Retrieved 2020-06-23.
  4. ^ "Turkey's EU Minister rejects Pope's 'genocide' remark". www.aa.com.tr.
  5. ^ "Turkey digs in heels over terrorism law, to EU's chagrin". Reuters. 2016-05-11. Retrieved 2020-06-23.
  6. ^ "Parliament wants to suspend EU accession negotiations with Turkey | News | European Parliament". www.europarl.europa.eu. 2019-03-13. Retrieved 2020-06-23.
  7. ^ "Turkey blasts European Parliament over call to suspend EU accession talks – T-VINE". Retrieved 2020-06-23.
  8. ^ "Turkish diplomat elected President of historic 75th UN General Assembly". UN News. 2020-06-17. Retrieved 2020-06-18.
  9. ^ "ELECTION OF THE 75TH PRESIDENT OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY". General Assembly of the United Nations. Retrieved 2020-06-18.
  10. ^ Antonopoulos, Paul. "Greece, Cyprus & Armenia make historical move by blocking Turkey from leading UN General Assembly". Greek City Times. Retrieved 2020-06-18.
  11. ^ a b "Minister for EU Affairs & Chief Negotiator Volkan BOZKIR". Ministry for EU Affairs of Turkey. 30 August 2014. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  12. ^ "GENERAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT WRAPS UP VISIT TO PAKISTAN". General Assembly of the United Nations. 28 May 2021. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  13. ^ Sajid, Islamuddin (27 May 2021). "Pakistan gives UN General Assembly president high honor". Anadolu Agency. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  14. ^ Granger, Anthony. "Turkey: "Will No Longer Participate" In Eurovision". Eurovoix. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  15. ^ "Will Turkey participate finally?". eurovision.de.
  16. ^ Jiandani, Sanjay (5 September 2014). "Turkey: TRT confirms no return to Eurovision in 2015". EscToday.com.
  17. ^ "Turkey to return to Eurovision song contest in 2016: state TV". Hürriyet Daily News. 6 February 2014.
  18. ^ "India Slams UNGA President's Remarks on Kashmir During Pakistan Visit". The Wire. Retrieved 2021-05-30.

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
President of the United Nations General Assembly
Succeeded by