State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said she wasn't going to "dignify … with a response” a tweet from the mayor of Turkey’s capital referring to her as a “stupid blonde.”
"Come on blonde, answer now!" Ankara Mayor Melih Gokcek wrote on Twitter in both English and Turkish, apparently taunting Harf over the the Obama administration’s response to the Baltimore riots.
In the same tweet, he posted an image of police beating a protester and a photo of Harf along with the caption, "Where are you, stupid blonde who said the Turkish police are using disproportionate force?” the Turkish website Today’s Zaman reported.
HADİ SARIŞIN CEVAP VERSENE... COME ON BLONDE ANSWER NOW... pic.twitter.com/gTeftDEWdg— İbrahim Melih Gökçek (@06melihgokcek) April 29, 2015
The Hurriyet Daily News reported that the mayor was referring to a report on a pro-government news site that criticized Harf for being “now silent” on the Baltimore unrest two years after the State Department expressed concern over violent clashes between anti-government protesters and police in Istanbul.
Gokcek was apparently making the point that the U.S. operates by a double standard between what happens domestically and what it criticizes other countries over.
“I really don’t think I’m going to dignify them with a response,” Harf told reporters Wednesday, responding to a journalist’s question asking for comment on the mayor’s tweet.
“I would note that the president didn’t just talk about the specific incident and the investigation, but really about the fact that we have to do some soul-searching here, and spoke, I think, very deeply and personally about an issue that is clearly one that people feel very passionately about,” Harf said, referring to President Barack Obama's comments about the situation in Baltimore.
Harf said the U.S. has “a record of transparency, of self-reflection when we have challenges that I would put up against any other countries anywhere in the world.”
Today’s Zaman noted that the mayor “is known for his obsessive trolling of journalists and critics on Twitter.”