A Turkish imam working in Elhaç Timurtaş Mosque in Istanbul’s Eminönü neighborhood has targeted the national women's volleyball team, known as the Sultans of the Net, who achieved one of the country’s greatest sports successes by becoming European champions.
In a video spread on social media, the imam was seen saying during a sermon that “The Sultans of the Net are infidels, it is a sin to watch (them), but you applaud (them). These women are grinding down Islam.”
“Didn’t you like the smart, agile and moral athlete?,” the imam asked, referring to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s famous remark.
“Is this how morality works? Could such nonsense be possible? Sultans of the Net… Now they become sultan. There is no such nonsense. This is how religion is slowly being diminished and faith is disappearing (among people). You are applauding haram things. How nice. There are football players wearing a headscarf. Screw football,” the imam added.
The Turkish national women's volleyball team has become the champion in the 2023 CEV Women's European Volleyball Championship.
Islamists and pro-government figures have been attacking the team players over their clothes and over sexual identities of some players, such as Ebrar Karakurt.