Turkey, Middle East


Due to its strategic location astride two continents, Turkey's culture has a unique blend of Eastern and Western tradition. Turkey has become increasingly integrated with the West through membership in organizations such as the Council of Europe, NATO and the G-20 major economies. Turkey began full membership negotiations with the European Union in 2005. The human rights of LGBT people in Turkey is one of the most controversial human rights issues in Turkey. Homosexuality is not illegal as such in the Republic of Turkey. However, owing to conservative values embedded in Muslim-majority Turkish society, homosexuality remains a taboo topic in public discourse. The desire of Turkey to join the European Union has forced the government to grant official recognition to LGBT rights organizations, respect a greater degree of the freedom of speech and the press and to entertain gay rights legislation. Gay themed conferences and gatherings now regularly take place, particularly in Istanbul and Ankara. The major LGBT community-based civil rights organization is KAOS GL, established in 1994 in Ankara. Lambda Istanbul, a member of ILGA-Europe, was established in 1993 in Istanbul. It was recently threatened by the District Govenorship. The prosecution argued that its name and activities were “against the law and morality.”  But they lost the case against Lambda. Also see: Islam and Homosexuality

 

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Turkey, Istanbul 2012

| June 6th, 2012 | Comments Off

The ancient city of Istanbul is divided into Europe and Asia, old and modern, tradition and innovation. Muslim tolerance, magnificent mosque Ottoman architecture, a beautiful location on the sea, and the countless high and low end eateries, all make this city a universally appealing place to live and visit.   Posted Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey.

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Kurdish, Gay and Proud in Diyarbakir

| February 11th, 2012 | Comments Off

An interview with a Kurdish Leader of Hebûn LGBT activist group Introduction Diyarbakir city is the capital of the Diyarbakır Province in eastern Turkey. The population is about 1,600,000. Kurds are the predominant population today. Other groups include Turks, Assyrians, Armenians, Arabs and Yazidis. Kurds rarely make it onto the international media, and that’s even more so for Kurdish lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, yet they do exist and have many stories to tell. So Gay Middle East  traveled to the city of Diyarbakir in Eastern Turkey (or North Kurdistan), the center of the Kurdish culture in the region. From: Gay Middle East by Bradley Secker and Dan Littauer February 9, 2012 Here you can hear people speaking proudly of themselves as being Kurdish, of their identity, culture and language. It is both ancient and modern, an oriental city enclosed by magnificent Roman walls and beyond the new Ofis

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A Murdered Friend, His Hate-filled Parents, and Lives Lost to Homophobia

| September 11th, 2009 | 2 Comments »

Westhampton, MA – September 11, 2009 Richard Ammon – GlobalGayz.com (See the recent, 2011, film about Ahmet’s murder: Zenne Dancer; also, website for the film) This is a very sad story, about a father and a son, a family and a culture torn by blind hatred. Last year during a visit to Istanbul, Turkey my partner and I stayed with a Turkish couple in the city. Nicely furnished and designed with all the mod-cons of civilized life, their spacious apartment in the Uskadar district on the Asian side of the city was not just the tasteful home of our gay hosts. It was a regular informal social gathering place for friends with similar interests, ideas and food favorites. One evening during our stay several of these like-minded friends gathered to discuss an upcoming conference and how they would prepare for it. My partner and I don’t speak Turkish so after

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Turkey – Mediterranean Coast (photos)

| January 1st, 2009 | Comments Off

Turkey’s Mediterranean coast is very historic, beautiful and sunny. There are charming towns, ancient ruins and countless appealing beaches, restaurants and cafes.

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It’s Normal to be Gay: Worldwide Gay Survey

| January 1st, 2009 | Comments Off

Intro: Despite daunting persecution of gays in many countires, a guest author surveys mid-nineties optimistic gains in gay expression, gay pride activity and legal status around the world. Bangkok   by John Duvoli The Economist Revised June 1, 2008 Photos by Richard Ammon                                                                         Across the world a radical idea about homosexuals is gaining ground: they are, like, say, left-handers, a very ordinary minority. After the former Yugoslav army moved out of its barracks in Ljubljana, Slovenia the homosexuals moved in. The gutted compound in Metelkova Road is hulking, derelict, folded in icy blackness on a winter’s night because the public electricity has been cut off. But make your way through a fresh-painted door and you enter Klub Magnus, another world. The curtains are a smart yellow, the walls cheery red; generators and portable heaters banish the winter night. Twenty or 30 young homosexuals gather at cafe tables smoking, drinking,

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Gay Life in Modern Turkey

| January 1st, 2009 | Comments Off

Introduction As a Muslim country, Turkey reveals a very different attitude than most other Islamic countries toward lesbigay life. Progressive and highly western, Turkey allows gays to have a measure of freedom of expression and as well access to fulfilling careers and romantic intimacy. But many Turks resent and fear any recognition of “Gay Life in Modern Turkey” or allowing gay rights. by Richard Ammon GlobalGayz.com Revised March 2012 This story is in memory of  Ahmet Yidliz, a person naturally born as a gay self, grown into a compassionate citizen, educated teacher, domestic partner  and much-loved friend. He was murdered by his father in a homophobic honor killing only a few months after I met him in Istanbul. See story and memorial. In 2011 two friends of Ahmet’s produced a film about his life and death:  Zenne Dancer; also see the website for the film). Modern Turkey Modern urban Turkey

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Turkey – Istanbul: City (1) (photos)

| January 1st, 2009 | Comments Off

Istanbul (historically Byzantium and later Constantinople) is the world’s 3rd largest city and Turkey’s cultural and financial center. It extends both on the European (Thrace) and on the Asian (Anatolia) side of the Bosphorus, and is therebythe only metropolis in the world which is situated on two continents. In its long history, Istanbul served as the capital city of the Roman Empire (330–395), the East Roman (Byzantine) Empire (395–1204 and 1261–1453), the Latin Empire (1204–1261), and the Ottoman Empire (1453–1922).  

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Turkey – Istanbul: City (2) (photos)

| January 1st, 2009 | Comments Off

Istanbul (historically Byzantium and later Constantinople) is the world’s 3rd largest city and Turkey’s cultural and financial center. It extends both on the European (Thrace) and on the Asian (Anatolia) side of the Bosphorus, and is thereby the only metropolis in the world which is situated on two continents. In its long history, Istanbul served as the capital city of the Roman Empire (330–395), the East Roman (Byzantine) Empire (395–1204 and 1261–1453), the Latin Empire (1204–1261), and the Ottoman Empire (1453–1922).

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Turkey – Istanbul: City (3) (photos)

| January 1st, 2009 | Comments Off

Turkey – Istanbul 9/11/01 We arrived in Istanbul on September 10, 2001 in the evening. The next day we went for a boat ride up the Bosporus toward the Black Sea returning to our apartment about 5PM. On the ground floor was a local grocery store with a small black and white TV showing some smoking buildings. The shop owner didn’t speak English except to say "America, kaboom!" and gesture outward with his hands. It wasn’t until we went upstairs and turned on our TV that we understood what had happened on 9/11/01.

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Turkey – North Aegean Coast (photos)

| January 1st, 2009 | Comments Off

Along the Aegean north coast of Turkey are some of the most famous landmarks of human civilzation. Canakkale (photos 1-4) and the haunting battlefields of Gallipoli (photos 5-22), the great city Ruins of Pergamon (photos 26-33) and Ancient Troy (photos 34-50).

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Turkey – Ferry to Cyprus (photos)

| January 1st, 2009 | Comments Off

Cyprus is the third-largest Mediterranean island and one of the most popular tourist destinations, attracting over 2.4 million tourists per year. A former British colony, it gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1960 and became a Commonwealth republic in 1961. The Republic of Cyprus is a developed country and has been a member of the European Union since 1 May 2004. It adopted the euro on 1 January 2008. In 1974, following a period of violence between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, Turkey invaded and occupied the northern third of the island. In March 2008, the Republic of Cyprus demolished a wall that for decades had stood in Nicosia at the boundary between the Greek Cypriot controlled side and the UN buffer zone.

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Turkey – Ankara (photos)

| January 1st, 2009 | Comments Off

Ankara is the Turkish capital and final resting place of Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey. His enormous mausoleum–Anitkabir–is a beautiful solemn place, guarded 24 hours a day by precise honor guards. Along the Black Sea coast is the pleasant town of Amasra with its fishing harbor and old castle ruins.

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Turkey – South Aegean Coast (photos)

| January 1st, 2009 | Comments Off

Along the Aegean south coast of Turkey are some of the most famous landmarks of human civilzation – the enormous city ruins at Ephesus, Sardis, the Apollo Temple in Didymi, and Euromos.

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Turkey – Cappacodia (photos)

| January 1st, 2009 | Comments Off

In the Cappadocia region, the rocks of near the town of Göreme have over millions of years eroded into hundreds of spectacular pillars and minaret-like forms. The volcanic deposits are soft rocks that the people of the villages carved out to form houses, churches, snd monasteries. Göreme became a monastic center between 300-1200 AD. The Göreme Open Air Museum (photos 20-51) is the most visited site of the monastic communities in Cappadocia and is one of the most famous sites in central Turkey. It is a complex comprising more than 30 rock-carved churches and chapels containing some superb frescoes, dating from the 9th to the 11th centuries. The first 10 photos are of the village of Mustafapasa a short drive from Goreme. Photos 10-19 are of the Soganli Valley where dolls are made and bread is baked. Photos 64-68 are of the underground city of Derinkuyu, just south of Goreme.

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