Federation backs national volleyball player against homophobic attacks
The Turkish Volleyball Federation (TVF) has backed the national athlete Ebrar Karakurt, who recently became the target of homophobic attacks after sharing a photo on Instagram with a woman believed to be her girlfriend.
“She is a warrior athlete who plays with a brave, courageous and warrior spirit on the court and sheds her sweat to represent her country and flag in the best possible way,” said Kurtaran Mumcu, the spokesperson of TVF.
“Everyone’s private life is their own. The rest is malice,” Mumcu added.
The photo that prompted homophobic attacks was showing the 21-year-old athlete leaning down to pose with a woman whom she held from the waist, but the Olympic star subsequently deleted it from her Instagram account after a series of abusive comments.
Reacting to reports of online attacks, Turkish athletes, singers and other public figures defended Karakurt on social media and highlighted her outstanding success.
“She [Karakurt] only cares about doing her job the best way she can. The rest is none of my business, or yours, or anyone else’s,” wrote Naz Aydemir Akyol, Karakurt’s teammate.
“Keep going with your ambition, your fight, and with your reflection of the game’s joy to the audience, Ebrar,” wrote Sinan Güler, a professional basketball player.
Demet Akalın, a Turkish pop singer, also staunchly defended Karakurt, noting that the athlete’s private life was nobody’s business but hers only.
Karakurt helped Turkey’s national volleyball team reach the quarterfinals of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
At the games, she drew attention with her hot-pink hair and impressive performances as an opposite hitter.
Playing in that position, she has won two silver medals at international tournaments with the national team, which she joined in 2018.