Ebrar Karakurt, a Turkish Olympic volleyball player, is being defended by her teammates after she took so much abuse for posting a photo with her girlfriend on Instagram that she later deleted it.
Karakurt, whose pink hair made her standout in Tokyo, helped take Turkey to the Olympic quarterfinals, but that didn’t stop her from getting anti-LGBTQ comments after posting the photo with her girlfriend, the BBC said, citing Turkish media reports.
After it became known that Karakurt felt compelled to remove the photo, her teammates and others rushed to her defense.
In a tweet her teammate, Naz Aydemir Akyol said Ms Karakurt was focused on volleyball and “doesn’t care about anything said about her”.
“The rest is none of my business, or yours, or anyone else’s,” she added.
Another teammate, Hande Baladin, wrote: “Always be who you are because the Ebrar we know is very special, very beautiful.”
LGBTQ people are under assault from the conservative Islamic government that runs the country. “Homosexuality is legal in Turkey but official opposition to the LGBT community has grown in recent years. The Istanbul Pride march has been banned since 2016,” the BBC said.
It’s a shame that Karakurt can’t be comfortable enough to even celebrate her relationship, but it it’s a reflection of the struggles so many LGBTQ people have in the world.
Correction: An earlier version of this article said Turkey is in the EU. It is being considered for membership but is not in the EU.