A local politician from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) raised eyebrows after insulting Turkey's national women's volleyball team for being "immodest."
Birol Şahin, mayor of the Kaynaşlı district of the northwestern province of Düzce, was removed from the list of mayors of his party following his remarks on the team's outfit.
“By defying the order of God to cover your body lines, you are dressing immodestly, you are exposing yourselves and you are glad about it because you are going to Tokyo," Şahin said in a social media post, referring to the team's victory against Germany that secured a place in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
"If you were the world champion what would happen? Muslim women follow good behavior and modesty. In everything they do they pay regard for God's approval. According to our religion, women can play sports among themselves, not by dressing immodestly in the presence of men,” he also said.
Şahin's remarks were slammed on social media, prompting the MHP to take action against him.
"Birol Şahin was removed from our party's list of mayors upon the orders of our leader Devlet Bahçeli due to the ugly post he shared," MHP deputy leader Sadir Durmaz said on Jan. 15.
Şahin's resignation was also asked for, the party said.
A day earlier, Bahçeli congratulated the team, their technical crew and the federation administration.
Following backlash, Şahin defended himself by saying that a Muslim "can't appear before men in that kind of clothes."
"I wrote in the general sense. The public follows me. We have a lot of followers. I don't have any bad intentions. We live in a Muslim country. Those who say that they are Muslims should follow certain rules. A Muslim can't appear before men in such clothes. It's forbidden," Şahin said.