Gay Istanbul: Turkey’s Most Scintillating City
Pushed and pulled by the eastern and western worlds for centuries, absorbing influences and attitudes from both Europe and the Middle East, Turkey is astoundingly resilient.
And Istanbul, with 14 million people, has been the cosmopolitan centre of the region since it was founded as Constantinople in 330 AD. The Bosphorus Strait, a shipping lane that links the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea dividing Istanbul in two, is one of the boundaries between Europe and Asia.
And although a forward-thinking region culturally, homosexuality is still relatively a taboo subject in Turkey – despite same-sex sex being legalised in 1858 (there are no anti-discrimination laws on the books of any kind). The bigger hotel chains may not blink twice if a same-sex couple asks for one bed, but the same cannot be said for the smaller places, so discretion on this, and public displays of affection, are advised.
This post originally appeared on the Purple Roofs Gay Travel Blog.