LGBT Travel to Gay Turkey

When you think of Gay Travel,
Turkey does not usually come to mind first.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in Turkey may face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Homosexuality is not illegal in the Republic of Turkey. However, owing to conservative values embedded in Muslim-majority Turkish society, homosexuality remains a taboo topic in public discourse.

In the 1990s, the LGBT movement fought against government bans on LGBT conferences. This prompted the creation of Lambda Istanbul.

Knocking at Europe’s door yet on the threshold of Asia, Turkey is truly a land of contrasts. Here you can scale the icy heights of remote Mount Ararat in search of Noah’s Ark, cross the historic Euphrates and Tigris rivers, follow in the footsteps of St Paul or simply relax on the golden Mediterranean sands of Patara beach. Vibrant Istanbul, straddling the blue waters of the Bosphorus separating Europe from Asia, beckons with its skyline pierced by countless minarets, chaotic bazaars and a history redolent with harem intrigue and despotic Sultans.

For the gay people who have not visited Turkey before, the first step should be getting familiar with the gay Turkish culture. The gay culture of Turkey is fairly different than western countries, as is the case with the general Turkish culture. Being situated at the intersection of Europe and Asia geographically, Turkey was influenced by both the Eastern and the Western civilizations. Turkey is the only Muslim country in the world where homosexuality is not illegal since the republic was founded in 1923.

With a population of 12 million, Istanbul hosts the most liberal and lively gay scene in the country.
Istanbul offers a wide variety of gay and gay friendly hotels and guesthouses located throughout  to meet the needs of the gay and lesbian travelers.

The Taksim/Beyoglu district on the Eastern side of Istanbul is the center of gay life in the city. Most of the gay clubs, bars, saunas and hamams are located here. Istanbul is one of the truly great romantic cities. Straddling the Borphorus, it is a city with its roots in two continents, Europe and Asia.

Over the last few years, Turkey has seen increasing acceptance towards the gay community. 

You will want to do your research and be prepared in advance before venturing to a country like Turkey.  We have included some links that will be helpful in planning your travel here.


Gay Guide of Istanbul

Gay Club in Istanbul

Gay Cafe Bar in Istanbul
Gay and Lesbian Istanbul Hotels
Turkey Gay Travel Agency
Turkey Budget Tours and Hotels
Turkey Gay Lesbian Guide
International Gay Guide