Istanbul for Gays
Istanbul, the city that served as the main land of three most powerful empires in the world. This city has witnessed literally everything, and people from different races and cultures have lived in it for hundreds of years. It is not strange in Istanbul to host different people from different backgrounds because at the end of the day, there is a place for everyone in Istanbul.
As the gay community is growing a year after year, it is still facing some hards in people accepting it. Unlike many other cities in the world, Istanbul city is considered one of the cities that secure gay rights and accept their existance as a part of the overall cominuty. Thu, you can find many place where to enjoy your time and live free as gay memeber of the comunity. Still, you need to understand that Istanbul has an Islamic atmosphere so you need to know that such atmosphere must be fully respected.
Homosexuality was made legal in Istanbul in 1958 during the Ottoman Empire, and after the foundation of the Turkish Republic it was kept legal. The legal age to practice homosexuality is 18 so you can enjoy your rights in Istanbul but as Turkish citezins, gay people cannot serve military period.
The social life of LGBT in Istanbul:
Despite the legality of homosexuality in Turkey but not all people actually accept the fact of LGBT. we cannot say that it is impossible to live as a gay person in Istanbul but you may find some refuses of people especially religous people and old people who believe that being a gay brings harms to the community. Thus, it is not very comfortable for a gay to live in Istanbul whether in work or in normal life there is always someone who brings troubles but copared to other countries it is still better. Overall, do not worry because as a tourist noone will bring you any harms or cause you any problem. In fact, there are a lot of places where to enjoy your time.
Places to visits and activities to do in Istanbul:
There are many places to visit in Istanbul. For example, gay cafes and restaurants are spread all over the place in Beyoglu district and there are different types of cafes where you can sit with your partner or fiend to have a little chat together.
Bars also are spread in Beyoglu district. You can find many gay bars, some of them are calm and open for visitors who want to have a cold beer with a friend or partner and sme others offer more wild atmosphere where you can spend an absolute great time dancing all night to techno and pop music with friends. You need to understand that some bars forbidden sexual acts inside of it while others do not mind it at all. So make sure to know these things before stepping in, not to be kicked out.
You can also visit other places comfortably because no one will actually do any harm to you. Places like the Grand Bazaar where you can do some shopping, or visit the historical sites like Hagia Sophia museum, and Basilica cistern, and if you are not a fan of the historical sights you spend a very enjoyable time at one of the natural sights of Istanbul especially during April when the Tulip Festival is on.
Another activity that you might enjoy is to spend the day of your life at the Chill Out Festival that is usually done during August. During this festival, you can dance all day on pop and techno music in the open park in Sariyer District with your friends, you will absolutely have the best time there. Do not worry, everyone is dancing and the only thing you are worried about is to stop dancing.
In general, LGBT life in Istanbul is not hard. Of course, a gay person would still find more acceptance in other cities but it is not awful in Istanbul but the good thing in Istanbul that no one can actually bring harm to a gay one, a person might not accept the fact of LGBT but at the end of the day he or she won’t cause any problems by hurting others.
In any case, the LGBT community is still trying to get more rights in order to feel safer but this situation is not caused by law, it is caused by the people living with LGBT community despite the fact that Turkish people are so nice and kind but still, there are some difficulties.