Melih Gokcek has been the mayor of the Turkish capital, Ankara, since 1994. He is known as a flamboyant and loquacious member of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and is quite active on social media. He appears on television frequently and has over 3 million followers on Twitter. He frequently engages pundits and colleagues into virtual duels.
On Jan. 15, Gokcek’s target was US Ambassador John Bass. Bass recently gave an interview to the pro-government daily Sabah where he had criticized terror activities, particularly those of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). This news was shared widely by pro-government networks as a sign of US support for Turkey against separatist movements.