Ankara, Turkey Mayor Calls Marie Harf A "Stupid Blonde" On Twitter & The U.S Ambassador To Turkey Responds Perfectly
After the mayor of Ankara, Turkey called the female spokesperson for the U.S. State Department a "stupid blonde" on Twitter, the U.S. ambassador to Turkey stuck by her side. John Bass posted a photoshopped picture to Instagram of him with blonde hair that said, "American diplomats: we’re all blonde." The mayor of Turkey's capital, Melih Gökçek, has been lashing out at the acting spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, Marie Harf, since a pro-government Turkish newspaper criticized Harf for being "silent" about the protests in Baltimore after the U.S. accused Turkey of responding violently to Gezi Park protesters in 2013.
Gökçek tweeted a picture of a Baltimore police officer beating a protestor alongside a picture of Harf earlier this week that read: "Where are you stupid blonde, who accused Turkish police of using disproportionate force? Come on blonde, answer now."
In another tweet, the mayor said: "According to the blonde girl, the government’s reaction during the Gezi Park protests were worrisome, but when it comes to your country, is it normal to declare a curfew." Harf retweeted Bass' photo of him as a blonde and told The Guardian that she didn't want to dignify Gökçek's tweets with a response.
The hypocrisy in Gökçek's name-calling on Twitter is that he has filed lawsuits against people who have criticized him on Twitter. According to The Guardian, he filed a criminal complaint for defamation in March against a Turkish journalist of Armenian descent who jokingly called the mayor "Armenian" in tweets after the local election. One tweet read: "It is official — they gave the capital city to an Armenian. What a shame!"
Gökçek's lawyers' petition said that Gökçek is "a citizen of the Turkish republic who loves his country and his nation" and that the journalist's tweets were false and libelous. He asked for 10,000 Turkish lira ($3,694) for "psychological damage." Sorry Gökçek, but you can't have it both ways. Either everyone has free speech on Twitter or no one does.
Not only is Gökçek a hypocrite when it comes to criticizing others on social media, his comments about Harf were incredibly sexist. Would he have made the same comments about Bass if he were blonde, calling him "the blonde boy?" I don't think so. Harf is a powerful political figure and deserves to be treated as such, not demeaned because of her gender or hair color — whether you agree with her or not.
Images: John Bass/Instagram (1)