A rare moment of national unity: Turkey’s women’s volleyball team wins European Championship title

Some of the players were subject to ongoing culture wars, but for the moment, there is a moment of unity.


Turkey’s women’s volleyball team defeats Serbia to clinch first ever European Championship title

Views from all over Turkey here

There have been several domestic controversies regarding Turkey’s women’s volleyball team. In July 2021, a religious cleric criticized the team’s appearance in the Tokyo Olympics, sparking discussions about women’s rights[5]. In July 2021, a pro-government newspaper called Ebrar Karakurt, a member of the national volleyball team, “our national shame” over her sexual identity, which created controversy[2]. In July 2021, after the team’s victory over China at the Tokyo Olympics, there was a debate on women’s decency and modesty[4]. In January 2023, Turkey’s state religious body stated that women cannot travel alone, which is another controversial statement regarding women’s rights[6]. However, according to The New York Times, Turkey’s women’s volleyball team has largely avoided such controversies, although the players’ personal styles have linked them to some of Turkey’s deepest struggles[3]. In July 2023, a conservative paper attacked a gold-medal-winning volleyball star for her sexual orientation, which created controversy[1].

[1] https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2023/07/turkish-volleyball-star-becomes-target-homophobic-slur
[2] https://www.duvarenglish.com/pro-govt-newspaper-calls-volleyball-player-karakurt-our-national-shame-over-her-sexual-identity-news-62752
[3] https://www.nytimes.com/2023/09/03/world/middleeast/turkey-womens-volleyball.html
[4] https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2021/07/controversial-clerics-modesty-call-turkish-volleyball-team-bounces-back-him
[5] https://globalvoices.org/2021/07/27/religious-cleric-criticizes-turkeys-women-volleyball-team-for-their-appearance-in-tokyo-olympics/
[6] https://globalvoices.org/2023/01/05/turkeys-state-religious-body-says-women-cannot-travel-alone/

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