Ankara’s most prolific tweep, Mayor Melih Gökçek, gets hacked

Ankara’s most prolific tweep, Mayor Melih Gökçek, gets hacked

Ankara’s most prolific tweep, Mayor Melih Gökçek, gets hacked

Ankara Mayor Gökçek tries out the new cable car service in the city, one of his many 'crazy projects,' which also include a large theme park and a water canal imitating Istanbul's Bosphorus Strait. AA Photo

Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek’s nearly two million Twitter followers had a surprise this morning, with tweets inviting them for a delicious simit in the city’s main square and announcing free public transportation, which sounded too goofy even by the eccentric standards of the social media-loving mayor.

Early risers were greeted to Twitter messages on Gökçek’s account praising the Turkish Republic’s founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and declaring, “Starting from this morning, public buses shall be free, damn it!”

After a few more tweets, it was revealed that Gökçek, one of Turkey’s most prolific, entertaining and capital letter-addicted tweeps, had been hacked - not by his arch-nemesis RedHack, but by a rather more nationalistic group named Siber Ergenekon.

The game seemed to be given away when the Ankara mayor - a man who has launched campaigns and hashtag wars against international media outlets including the BBC and CNN - posted a message directed at Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan: “It was not Istanbul’s Bosphorus but Ankara’s dry frost when I loved you @RT_Erdogan.”

Gökçek then tweeted: “Hey dudes, I’m in Kızılay right now. If you’re up for coming up against the police, let’s eat some simit with tea together,” and confessed, “It was me who broke the water fountain,” in reference to the new fountains spreading all over the Turkish capital - a favorite personal indulgence of his.

Soon after he discovered that he had been hacked, Gökçek opened a second account to announce that experts were working to get his primary account back. “If you give my account back to me, I won’t open a lawsuit. But otherwise, I will bring you to account at court,” he posted.

Gökçek was re-elected to the Ankara mayoral post for a record fifth time in the March 30 local elections, a mighty record approaching 25 years in the job, now largely filled with posting more than 48,000 tweets.