New US ambassador to arrive in Ankara
ANKARAThe new U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, John Bass, will arrive in Ankara on Oct. 18, the embassy has announced.
A career senior Foreign Service officer, Bass, who was nominated in June but had his nomination held up by the Senate until after the August recess, was approved on Sept. 17 by a vote of 98 to 0.
Bass served as executive secretary from 2012 to 2014, and U.S. ambassador to Georgia from 2009 to 2012.
He started his diplomatic career in 1988 and has also served in positions in U.S. missions in Iraq, Italy, Belgium and Chad.
The ambassador’s assignments in Washington have included service on former Vice President Dick Cheney’s staff, as chief of staff and adviser to Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, as director of the State Department’s Operations Center and in several assignments focused on European security issues.
Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Bass worked as a newspaper editor and as a political campaign consultant.
Bass faced a series of tough questions from Senator John McCain during his hearing at the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations over his nomination as ambassador to Turkey back on July 15. McCain said he would not support Bass’ nomination until he received a straight answer on whether he thought Turkey was drifting toward authoritarianism.
“It is a drift in that direction, yes,” Bass eventually replied.
Because Bass’ nomination was not approved earlier, the U.S. has been represented by a chargé d’affaires since September.