Retired Ambassador Bilal Şimşir, known for his several key duties in the Foreign Ministry and his noteworthy role in the Turkish academy as a historian and writer, has passed away at the age of 90 in the capital Ankara.
The Turkish Historical Society expressed its condolences in a written statement on Nov. 20, stating, “Regrettably, we received the somber news of the passing of our esteemed honorary member Bilal Şimşir, a valuable ambassador, guiding young diplomats with his wealth of experience, a prolific writer and a significant contributor to our archives.”
The Atatürk Research Center Presidency also conveyed their sorrow at the loss of the “esteemed author and retired ambassador, who shed light on recent Turkish history and the history of Turkish diplomacy with his written works.”
Having graduated from Ankara University’s International Relations Department in 1957, Şimşir began his career as an assistant to Professor Dr. Ahmet Şükrü Esmer in the Diplomacy History Chair at the same faculty. He joined the Foreign Ministry in 1960.
Şimşir served at the Turkish Embassies in Paris, Damascus, London and The Hague, holding positions such as chief clerk and undersecretary. He also assumed several roles, such as branch director, department head, deputy director-general and director-general in the ministry.
Representing Türkiye as an ambassador, he held posts at the embassies in Tirana and Beijing, as well as in Australia and the South Pacific countries. After 38 years of dedicated service, Şimşir retired in 1998.
His life, marked by contributions to recent history through 52 volumes of research books and approximately 160 articles, was featured in the Turkish Historical Society’s “Living History” documentary series.
Source: Hurriyet Daily News