Gay Country Rank: 142/193

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Turkey face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents, though Turkey's LGBT rights are considered to be relatively progressive compared to most other Muslim-majority countries.

In 1858, the Ottoman Empire—the predecessor of the modern-day Republic of Turkey— adopted a new penal code, which no longer contained any explicit articles criminalizing homosexuality, sodomy, and köçeklik (young male slave dancers). The Ottoman Penal Code of 1858 was heavily influenced by the Napoleonic Code, as part of wider reforms during the Tanzimat period.[1] LGBT people have had the right to seek asylum in Turkey under the Geneva Convention since 1951, but same-sex couples are not given the same legal protections available to heterosexual couples. Transgender people have been allowed to change their legal gender since 1988. Although discrimination protections regarding sexual orientation and gender identity or expression have been debated legally, they have not yet been legislated.

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Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Turkey face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT persons. Same-sex sexual activity was legalised in the Ottoman Empire (the predecessor of the modern-day Republic of Turkey) in 1858 and in modern Turkey, homosexual activity has always been a legal act since the day it was founded on 29 October 1923. LGBT people have had the right to seek asylum in Turkey under the Geneva Convention since 1951,[2] but same-sex couples are not given the same legal protections available to heterosexual couples. Transsexuals have been allowed to change their legal gender since 1988. Although discrimination protections regarding sexual orientation and gender identity or expression have been debated legally, they have not yet been legislated. Public opinion on homosexuality has generally been conservative, and LGBT people have been widely reported to experience discrimination, harassment and even violence in recent years.
 
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Turkey face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents, though Turkey's LGBT rights are considered to be relatively progressive compared to most other Muslim-majority countries.

In 1858, the Ottoman Empire—the predecessor of the modern-day Republic of Turkey— adopted a new penal code, which no longer contained any explicit articles criminalizing homosexuality, sodomy, and köçeklik (young male slave dancers). The Ottoman Penal Code of 1858 was heavily influenced by the Napoleonic Code, as part of wider reforms during the Tanzimat period.[1] LGBT people have had the right to seek asylum in Turkey under the Geneva Convention since 1951,[2] but same-sex couples are not given the same legal protections available to heterosexual couples. Transgender people have been allowed to change their legal gender since 1988. Although discrimination protections regarding sexual orientation and gender identity or expression have been debated legally, they have not yet been legislated.


Tips for Gay and Lesbian Travelers in Turkey
Although homosexuality is legal in Turkey, we're talking about a fairly conservative culture, so discretion is advisable -- even if Turkish men are into more public displays of affection with each other than with their wives. Still gayness is coming more and more out of the closet in Turkey; in 2009, more than 3,000 members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community attended the Pride March in Istanbul



GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Istanbul Gay Guide Majority of gay clubs will get busy after midnight. The venues listed under cafe & bar section are open in the evening, but still they are more busy in the evenings and around the midnight..
  • Istanbul Gay Guide The busiest night is Saturday in all bars and clubs. The second busiest night is Friday. Wednesdays are usually more vibrant compared to other week-in days.
  • Istanbul Gay Guide Most gay night clubs would ask for entrance fee on Saturday nights and some on Friday nights. (10 to 15 $ approximately) Entrance fees are usually a little more expensive than the usual price, and you can have one "local drink" with your ticket.
  • Istanbul Gay Guide The price for one drink approximately varies from 4-7 $ for local drinks (beer, gin, vodka etc); and from 10-15 $ for "export" drinks (such as whiskey, safari, Malibu etc) These are just estimated rates otherwise the prices are actually in Turkish Liras.
  • Istanbul Gay Guide In winter, you have to leave your coats, jackets and bags at the cloakrooms in most of the gay night clubs and pay for it when you leave.
  • Istanbul Gay Guide There is not any place with a dark-room. No bars or clubs provide sex-partner or sex place as a part of the service. You have to find your own partner, place and take your own responsibility.
  • Istanbul Gay Guide Credit cards are accepted by most clubs, if not all. So it is recommended to have some cash on you. Turkish Lira is better. They accept US Dollars or Euros as well but the exchange rate will be very disadvantagous at the clubs.
  • Istanbul Gay Guide The bath houses are not obviously approved as gay venues by their owners and the staff. They would rather play the "three monkeys". So, you are advised to be discrete in a reasonable way.
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