Recently, Türkiye has entered a new era in numerous fields, including politics, economics, and sports. Despite all these changes in the status quo, sports is considered the most important and successful one so far. To be more specific, the women’s national volleyball team has been ardently striving to expand its already-existing achievements in order to become a highly esteemed vollayball team in the world. This year, in 2023, they competed in the VNL (Volleyball Nations League) and CEV EuroVolley (Women’s European Volleyball Championship), and completed these tournaments in triumph by winning the championship titles. These accomplishments made not only Turkish people but also Turkish volleyball fans all over the globe unify and cheer for the team. All over Türkiye, Sultans of the Net and their remarkable victories for women’s volleyball in Türkiye were celebrated gloriously through the praises coming from the public.
Karakurt’s Volleyball Career
Ebrar Karakurt, the 23-year-old opposite player in the women’s Turkish national volleyball team, has become an indispensable part of the team with her vivid personality as well as her outstanding performance. Although she is a very young volleyball star, she was able to show her full potential to the public and what she can achieve in the national team as well as the clubs she played for.
She decided to pursue the path of being a volleyball player at the age of 14 when she started playing in a club called “DSI Balikesir Sport”, which was located in her hometown. Later on, she moved to another city in Türkiye, Bursa, and maintained her passion for volleyball by playing in her school’s volleyball team (Bursa Bahcesehir Anatolian High School) and one of the conspicuous clubs, Bursa BB Sports Club (Bursa Metropolitan Municipality). Moreover, she served as a player in Vakifbank Sports Club, which has been one of the leading clubs not only in the Turkish Volleyball League but also in the World League in addition to her position in Bursa BB. Sports players usually play for only a single club because of the potential problems that can detrimentally impact the player’s stability, comfort, and collective performance. Despite this, Ebrar played for these two clubs because of her will and the multiple licenses she owned.
Karakurt was a part of the Vakifbank team for almost five years, including when Vakifbank managed to lift the trophy and became the champions of the 2017- 2018 CEV Women’s Champions League. Subsequently, in 2020, Ebrar was rented to THY (Turkish Airlines) Sports Club for the 2020-2021 season. Throughout her journey in THY, she was able to retain her high performance with the points she scored and her energetic spirit, which elevated her success through her social profile. Ultimately, a new agreement for Ebrar Karakurt was made, which resulted in her transfer to the Italian volleyball team “Igor Gorgonzola Novara”. Because of her perseverance and desire to be successful, she adapted to the Italian culture and her club immediately. In a match where Igor Gorgonzola Novara played against Vero Volley Monza, another team in the Italian league, Karakurt scored 22 points in 3 sets, which made her the best-scorer in her team. Therefore, she was selected as the MVP (Most Valuable Player) of the match. This match was not the only achievement of Ebrar in Igor (The Abbreviation of Igor Gorgonzola Novara) and the way fans address the team but just the beginning of her journey filled with plenty of honors.
In another match, Igor competed against Ebrar Karakurt's old team THY and completed the match in triumph (3-1). She was awarded with an plaque of appreciation by the THY Branch Office due to her past contributions to the team. Even though Ebrar was an outstanding player in Igor, her journey in the Italian team ended due to an unpleasant discussion between her and the club chairman Gianvittorio Leanordi. Allegedly, this dispute was provoked by Leonardi accusing Ebrar Karakurt of being unprofessional during a match where Igor was beaten by Imoco Conegliano (3-0), and Karakurt responded with the same statement which blaimed the chairman of the club for behaving unproffesionally. Afterwards, the dialogues between Karakurt and Leonardi were leaked to the media. It was later stated that a decision about Ebrar was going to be made by the club officers. The 23-year-old opposite spiker, who was traded to Igor Gorgonzola Novara in May 2021 from Vakifbank with a two-year contract, transferred to Lokomotiv Kaliningrad for the 2023-2024 season.
New Team, New Accomplishments
Ebrar Karakurt started the 2023-2024 season in the Russian team, Lokomotiv Kaliningrad, after her unpleasant experience in Igor Gorgonzola Novara. She still managed to leave her past problems out of the court and concentrated on the games by showing her fullest potential.
A video of Ebrar dancing to the Turkish folkloric music, Erik Dalı, was posted on the internet, which made her gain support from the fans of Kaliningrad (The Abbreviation of Lokomotiv Kaliningrad. Recently, in the quarterfinals of the Russian championship league, when Lokomotiv Kaliningrad played against Stroitel Minsk, Ebrar had a hitting percentage of 69% with 26 points. Subsequent to all the points Ebrar scored, the Russian fans of Kaliningrad played Erik Dalı and danced to the song Ebrar taught them. This became viral as well as Ebrar’s highly contributing performance. Additionally, Kaliningrad fans displayed banners, which read “Evinde gibi hisset” ( Make Yourself Feel At Home in Turkish) . Although not much time has passed since Karakurt’s transfer to Lokomotiv Kaliningrad, it seems that fans have become ardent of the Turkish Volleyball star. The support coming from the fans also made Turkish people cheer for Karakurt, and they are looking forward to seeing her rise day by day with her performance.
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