'We are a multicultural country and our traditional designs for our costumes are generally very liked by the crowd'
A pair of Turkish ice dancers on Tuesday said they take care to ensure their relatively conservative costumes are firmly in place when they compete but maintained it was not due to any pressure from their government.
Skating a day after French ice dancer Gabriella Papadakis suffered a wardrobe malfunction in her Olympic short dance program that left her briefly exposed, the Turkish team said avoiding a similar fate is their priority.
"The most important part for Alisa when she designs it is keeping it safe," Alper Ucar told Reuters following his free dance routine with partner Alisa Agafonova at the Gangneung Ice Arena on Tuesday.
Ukrainian-born Agafonova, who represented the Eastern European nation until 2010, said: "I am doing what I like and what you see is what I decided that I like."
Wearing costumes that evoked ancient Egypt, they are among the most covered-up of any of the performers but the duo said it was their own choice.
Ucar said the Turkish Olympic committee did not give them any specific directions on their costumes.
"Turkey is a country where one side is Europe and the other side is the Middle East," he said.
"We are a multicultural country and our traditional designs for our costumes are generally very liked by the crowd. We are a democratic country, so there is no pressure. They are always supporting us and that's why we are here."