The United States ambassador to Turkey on Friday hit back at sexist remarks by the mayor of the Turkish capital to the State Department spokeswoman, by posting a picture of himself with blond hair, AFP reported.
The move came a day after Ankara Mayor Melih Gokcek, a close ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, fired off an extraordinary diatribe on Twitter over the Baltimore rioting, telling the State Department acting spokeswoman Marie Harf to "come on blonde answer now."
"Where are you stupid blonde, who accused Turkish police of using disproportionate force?" he added, referring to U.S. criticism of the harsh response by Turkish police to demonstrations.
Harf herself had refused to rise to the bait of the comments, saying in Washington, "I really don't think I'm going to dignify them with a response."
But the American ambassador to Turkey, John Bass, took to Instagram to make his response, posting a picture of himself with his normally brown hair turned blond.
"American diplomats: we're all blonde," he wrote in English and Turkish.
Gokcek, who has been mayor of Ankara since 1994, has earned notoriety in recent years for outbursts on his Twitter account, taking on anyone who dares challenge him.
He showed no signs of stepping back from the controversy, however, defending his comments by saying "my wife is also blonde".
"It has nothing to do with gender, they (the comments) shouldn't read this way," he said, according to the Hurriyet daily newspaper.
Sniping at Bass's Instagram picture, Gokcek said he could recommend the ambassador a hairdresser in Turkey.
"There are so many hairdressers in Turkey who are very good at doing blond hair. The envoy can contact me if he wants," he said, according to AFP.
Turkish officials have repeatedly used images from the Baltimore riots to justify their own government's wider crackdown on its opponents, which has included several prolonged bans on social media and jailing people for posting articles critical of Erdogan.
In January, Turjey blocked access to all sites which carried the front page of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which featured a cartoon of Mohammed, following the massacre at the magazine's office by Muslim terrorists.
That same month the government reportedly ordered the closure of all websites which published details of alleged Turkish arms transfers to Sunni Islamist rebels in Syria.
Last year, after briefly banning all access to Twitter, Erdogan himself vowed to "eradicate" the social media site.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)