The Turkish state broadcaster has deleted a photo of a pinata from the Instagram account of one of its channels because it was rainbow-coloured.
Turkish Radio and Television’s entertainment channel TRT2 posted an innocuous photo of a pinata to its Instagram account, where it has 362,000 followers.
The photo contained the text: “Children who have their eyes closed will try to find the clay or cardboard puppet that’s filled with candy.”
The channel captioned the image: “This puppet game, unique to Mexican culture, is mostly played on holidays and special occasions.”
Despite the pinata’s colours clearly being irrelevant, outraged hardline netizens piled in to criticise the post, given the toy’s resemblance to the LGBT pride flag.
To make matters worse, the channel, instead of ignoring the offensive comments, gave into the mob and took down the post.
Turkey has long had a strained relationship with the rainbow flag. It was widely reported in May last year that schoolchildren in the secular but Muslim-majority country had been told to stop drawing rainbows in class so as not to turn them gay.
Just yesterday (Thursday, 24th June), it was reported that the government-appointed mayor of the eastern town of Ercis issued a ban on a rainbow-coloured umbrella installation that local shopkeepers had put up in a street.
The installation was swiftly removed by police officers after the shopkeepers themselves refused to take it down.
And earlier this month, 12 Bogazici University students went on trial in the city of Istanbul – some of them for waving rainbow flags at demonstrations in February and March and the others for simply defending their classmates’ actions.