The Turkish football federation (TFF) has been ordered to pay compensation to a referee after it revoked his licence on the grounds he was gay.
On Tuesday, a judge in Istanbul ruled the TFF had to pay 23,000 Turkish lira (about $7,900) to Halil İbrahim Dinçdağ, which is less than the 110,000 lira ($37,812) his lawyers had demanded.
The case had become a lightning rod for LGBT rights in the country, which, while more progressive than other Muslim countries, still grapples with homophobia.
The TFF claimed that because the Turkish military bans homosexual soldiers, Dinçdağ was similarly “unfit” as a referee. (Military service is compulsory for all men over the age of 20 in Turkey, and referees must complete their service before taking the job.)
Dinçdağ, 38, had been a referee in northeastern Turkey for 13 years until 2009, when he came out and had his license revoked. After he filed an appeal, articles outing him appeared in the local press and Dinçdağ also lost his position at a local radio station.
He has since moved to Istanbul to get away from publicity and harassment.
“Winning this case means a lot to me,” he told the BBC. “I hope this ruling will be a model for similar cases.”