"Ertuğrul Apakan, former Undersecretary of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Turkey, will be succeeded as SMM Chief Monitor by Ambassador Yaşar Halit Çevik, also of Turkey," OSCE reports.
The ceremony of transfer of powers was held at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna on Thursday.
OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Slovakia’s Minister for Foreign and European Affairs Miroslav Lajčák and OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger gave credit to Ambassador Apakan and presented him the golden medal of the Slovak Minister for Foreign and European Affairs.
"The trust you have inspired throughout Ukraine, and among our international partners, created a strong foundation for the SMM to operate effectively," Greminger said.
In turn, Apakan noted that he left the country with the hope "that a sustainable ceasefire will soon be a reality."
The SMM, the OSCE’s largest field presence, was established by an OSCE Permanent Council decision on 21 March 2014. It contributes to reducing tensions and fostering peace, stability and security; supporting the implementation of all OSCE principles and commitments; and facilitating dialogue on the ground in order to reduce tensions and promote normalization of the situation.