The 'handsome minister' who's set hearts aflutter

Gabriel Wikstrom's Twitter photo Image copyright other

Sweden's new health minister has set pulses racing - but not at home. Bizarrely, it's in Turkey that he has caused a stir. And the cause of it all is his dashing photo on Twitter.

Last week 29-year-old Gabriel Wikstrom had a couple of thousand followers on Twitter - by Friday he had more than 22,800 and the figure keeps on rising. His fans are calling him the "Handsome Minister".

He says he's not quite sure how it all began, but the key lies in Turkey.

"Someone with a lot of followers over there tweeted about me. Monday, I got a lot of new followers from Turkey, so on Tuesday I wanted to say welcome to them.

"Over lunch another minister in the government, Mehmet Kaplan, helped me write a short message in Turkish. And that was when it really accelerated."

It simply read: "Welcome and thank you to my followers in Turkey."

Image copyright Gabriel Wikstrom

He was rather surprised by the response - the message was retweeted 8,500 times.

"I must admit that I am flattered. But I don't think it's just about my appearance, it also seems to be about my age and that I'm a minister with a heavyweight portfolio, including healthcare and sports. As I understand it, that is quite uncommon in Turkey," he says.

"If I can be a role model and inspire young people to get involved in politics, that is something really good I believe."

Wikstrom doesn't mind people paying attention to his appearance and just takes it as a compliment - and he admits the Turks have been a bit more appreciative than his fellow Swedes.

Image copyright other

Another tweet reads, "Are you short of doctors? If so, my bags are packed."

Image copyright other

As for his personal life, he's not revealed whether he's single, only that he has one child. And is he tempted to visit the home of his new-found fans? He has been to Turkey before "but very briefly, and I hope to go there again," he says.

He might want to bear this tweet in mind though. It warns: "I don't think you should ever come to Turkey bro - our girls will eat you alive."

Image copyright Other

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