Turkish TV won't ban Sochi figure skating

Stefania Berton and Ondrej Hotarek of Italy perform the pairs short program at the European Figure...

Stefania Berton and Ondrej Hotarek of Italy perform the pairs short program at the European Figure Skating Championships in Budapest, January 17, 2014. (REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh)


, Last Updated: 12:33 PM ET

Turkish state broadcaster TRT has reassured fans it will screen the figure skating competition from next month's Sochi Olympics after reports suggested there may be a blackout due to skaters wearing skimpy outfits.

TRT said a delay in settling screening rights was down to financing issues, and not sensitivities about skaters' clothing.

"We got a 20 percent discount and have agreed to broadcast all the ice skating events," a source at TRT said.

"If we had sensitivities about clothing we would not broadcast swimming or volleyball competitions, nor the WTA Istanbul Tennis Championship," the same source said, without giving his name.

TRT has also demanded that the parties who had accused it of censorship should apologise.

Turks had taken to social media to protest.

"Ice skating is aesthetic, not sexy!" tweeted one user.

"TRT is the one who sees legs and nudity in ice skating. All we see is art and sport," tweeted another.

Turkey, a predominantly Muslim but officially secular country, has grown more socially conservative during the ruling AK Party's decade in power.

Staunchly secular Turks were appalled when flag-carrier Turkish Airlines banned its female flight attendants from wearing bright red lipstick and nail polish - a move it later reversed. There was also outcry when a television presenter was reportedly sacked for wearing a dress that was too revealing.

The government lifted a ban on women wearing the Islamic head scarf in state institutions in October 2013, ending a generations-old restriction.