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Content about Turkey

November 25, 2014

Unlock the ancient, enigmatic glamour of the Turkish metropolis with our guide

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.

November 25, 2014

Unlock the ancient, enigmatic glamour of the Turkish metropolis with our guide

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.

November 18, 2014

For many in the Middle East, Turkey is a safe haven for LGBTI people. But the gay and trans population still faces great hatred and real danger

Turkey is a country conflicted when it comes to its LGBTI population.

On one hand, Turkey is the first country in the Muslim world to hold a Pride march. Now, 11 years on, 2014 Istanbul Pride is widely lauded. It surpassed last year’s LGBTQI pride attendance that drew nearly 100,000 revelers and onlookers.

It is the ‘go-to’ country for LGBTI Muslims fleeing other Islamic countries for their safety.

The country’s Supreme Court acknowledged in July that calling LGBTI citizens ‘perverts’ is hate speech.

August 4, 2014

Mariah Carey will grace the cover of a new free magazine for Turkey’s LGBTI community which comes out tomorrow

US pop singer Mariah Carey will be the cover model for the first issue of a new free magazine for Turkey’s LGBTI community which comes out tomorrow.

The Hurriyet Daily reports that Carey was enthusiastic about being a part of the project when contacted by staff at GayMag magazine.

An interview with Turkish actress and singer Hülya Avşar also appears in the first issue and staff at GayMag are confident that other Turkish celebrities will want to appear in the magazine in future issues.

July 20, 2014

LGBTs in Turkey hail the Supreme Court's confirmation that a news article calling gays 'perverts' constitutes hate speech

For the first time, hate speech on the basis of sexual orientation has been officially recognized by a court in Turkey.

July 7, 2014

Do you dream of Turkey's cool buildings, amazing beaches and hot oil wrestling? The country voted as the world’s most popular destination by TripAdvisor readers is changing its visa entry rules starting 1 January 2015

This year Turkey’s largest city and cultural heart Istanbul was voted as the top travel destination in the world by TripAdvisor users.

The reasons are hardly surprising.

Turkey is just one of those places that has everything.

Amazing food bazaars, stunning architecture like the Hagia Sophia, natural attractions like beaches and mud baths…

June 30, 2014

Thousands marched in Turkey over the weekend in the largest gay pride event seen in any majority Muslim country on Earth

Tens of thousands of LGBTI people and their supporters marched down Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue on Sunday for this year’s Istanbul Pride March and the number of participants may have even been bigger than the 100,000 who marched last year.

Billed as the largest expression of LGBTI pride anywhere in the Muslim world, participants waved rainbow flags and signs and marched peacefully under the watch of Turkish police.

May 22, 2014

Prosecutors accused gay man of 'mocking the Prime Minister' and said he should go to prison for over a year

A Turkish court has fined a gay rights activist who used the word ‘queer’ in a tweet today (22 May).

Levent Pişkin was pronounced guilty and ordered to pay 1,500 Turkish Liras ($750, €550).

Back in July, he responded to a statement made by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who said he was a ‘perfect Alevi’.

The PM of Turkey was responding to a particular sect of the Islam faith, Alevism, which particularly reveres the son-in-law of Muhammad – Ali.

April 16, 2014

Turkey’s Ministry of Justice has announced plans for a special prison to house LGBTI inmates away from other prisoners for their own protection

Turkey will create a separate prison facility for LGBTI prisoners under a new plan unveiled by the country’s Ministry of Justice.

The plan was announced after an opposition lawmaker asked Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag about the treatment of LGBTI prisoners in Turkey’s prison system,

February 25, 2014

Man confesses to killing a 29-year-old trans woman, burying her in a vineyard where he worked, and stealing her valuables and fleeing to Serbia

A man has admitted to shooting his trans girlfriend in the chest in Turkey.

Police discovered the 29-year-old body of Sevdar Başar yesterday (24 February), buried in a vineyard in the southeastern city of Antep.

She was only discovered when her boyfriend Ethem Orhan, who had fled to Serbia with her valuables, confessed to the crime.

He admitted to promising her with marriage and a future, before beating her and shooting her with a hunting rifle and burying her in the vineyard he worked at last week.

February 6, 2014

Prolific writers such as Neil Gaiman, Salmon Rushdie and Margaret Atwood signed a letter callling for the repeal of gay propaganda laws

More than 200 leading authors have spoken out to condemn Russia’s anti-gay laws as a ‘chokehold’ on free speech.

Prolific writers such as Salmon Rushdie, Neil Gaiman and Margaret Atwood signed the open letter calling for the gay propaganda ban in Russia to be repealed.

February 4, 2014

A 30-year-old Libyan Muslim man with a history of instability has been arrested over an attempted New Years Eve arson attack on a Seattle, Washington gay bar but the incident does not appear to have been a hate crime

30-year-old Libyan US resident Musab Mohamed Musmari has been arrested over a New Years Eve incident where 750 people were forced to flee Seattle’s Neighbours night club to escape a fire.

Musmari, who also uses the surname Masmari, was caught Saturday preparing to flee the country on a one-way ticket to Turkey.

December 31, 2013

Homofin is even encouraging mothers to mix the drug secretly in their suspected gay sons’ food

A pill claiming to ‘cure’ you of being gay in just eight months is being openly marketed online, Gay Star News can reveal.

Marketed online in Turkey, Homofin claims the ‘herbal’ treatment influences your hormones saying: ‘It is now up to you to be or not to be a homosexual.’

Homofin’s site even encourages a mother, who is worried her son may be gay but does not want to raise the issue with him, to buy the capsules and secretly dissolve the drug in his food.

November 20, 2013

For Transgender Day of Remembrance, we remember the horrific tragedies that led to the deaths of trans victims worldwide

When you hear that 238 trans people have been killed this year, including 11 children, it’s a horrific number.

But it’s more than a number. It is 238 people just like you who have lost their lives to intolerance, to hatred, and to fear.

When we sit and remember these victims on Transgender Day of Remembrance today (20 November), we must remember these people had hopes and dreams.

And most importantly, they had futures.

Below is a list of the men and women identified by the Trans Murder Monitoring Project.

October 9, 2013

In the latest crackdown of the LGBT community, an information blog has been shut down after a complaint was made to the Turkish government

Turkey has shut down a transgender support site in its latest crackdown of the LGBT community.

Transsick-o, an information blog for trans men, was censored by the Turkish government yesterday (8 October), according to the main LGBT association KAOS GL.

According to the LGBT rights group, it was shut down by the Presidency of Telecommunication over an ‘administrative measure’.

October 8, 2013

Oiled muscles and brute strength make Turkish oil wrestling, the centuries-old national sport, one of the most challenging and homoerotic activities in the world

Out of all the world's national sports (Chile has rodeo, Pakistan has cricket and Japan has sumo wrestling) Turkish oil wrestling may be one of the most visually appealing sports for gay men around the world.

Turkey's national sport has existed and excited for thousands of years, tracing its origin back to the ancient Ottoman empire.

The sport is one of the most physically demanding around, as wrestlers must use their strength and tact to wriggle around and eventually dominate their opponent.

September 25, 2013

Joel Simkhai says ‘freedom to communicate is a basic right and Grindr is exploring all options to resolve this matter including a legal appeal'

Gay dating app Grindr is considering threatening legal action over its ban in Turkey.

Earlier this month, the app was blocked by Istanbul’s Criminal Court of Peace as a ‘protection measure’.

Joel Simkhai, the founder and CEO of Grindr, told The Independent they were considering how to respond to the ban.

They believe around 125,000 Turkish gay users are no longer able to use the hook-up app.

September 24, 2013

Gay Star News speaks to Turkey's first openly gay mayoral candidate Can Çavuşoğlu to learn about the 43-year-old's motivations, campaign platforms and chances at winning the mayoral seat

Last week Gay Star News reported 43-year-old Can Çavuşoğlu announced he was running for mayor of Bulancak, Turkey.

The Istanbul native could become the country's first openly gay mayor in office.

Though homosexuality is not illegal in Turkey, the LGBT community has no legal protections against discrimination in the Muslim-majority country.

September 24, 2013

Gay Star News speaks to Turkey's first openly gay mayoral candidate Can Çavuşoğlu to learn about the 43-year-old's motivations, campaign platforms and chances at winning the mayoral seat

Last week Gay Star News reported 43-year-old Can Çavuşoğlu announced he was running for mayor of Bulancak, Turkey.

The Istanbul native could become the country's first openly gay mayor in office.

Though homosexuality is not illegal in Turkey, the LGBT community has no legal protections against discrimination in the Muslim-majority country.

September 18, 2013

Turkish LGBT group KAOS GL says Grindr ban is sign of government interference in their lives

Gay dating app Grindr is asking members to try to overturn a ban on its service in Turkey.

Istanbul’s Criminal Court of Peace blocked Grindr as a ‘protection measure’ on 11 September although GSN sources in the country claim other gay dating and sex hook-up apps still work in Turkey.

September 18, 2013

Amnesty International has released a 16-page report condemning the European Union for failing to enforce laws that protect sexual orientation and gender identity in member states

Amnesty International has accused the European Union of failing to address homophobia and transphobia in member states.

The international human rights organization has released a 16-page report that names and shames EU member states  Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Croatia, Italy, Latvia and neighboring non-EU states Ukraine, Moldova, Turkey, Macedonia and Montenegro, all of whose laws insufficiently protect against the discrimination, physical assault or of murder of LGBT people.

September 16, 2013

Can Çavuşoğlu has received mixed reactions as he announced his candidacy to become the first openly gay mayor in the majority Muslim nation

43-year-old gay man Can Çavuşoğlu hopes to become the first openly gay mayor in Turkey.

The Istanbul-native announced this weekend his bid for mayor of Bulancak, a Black Sea town with a population of about 60,000 according to Agence France Presse. Local elections are scheduled to take place March 2014.

September 12, 2013

Hookup app says it was created in order to facilitate communication in countries where the LGBT community is oppressed

Gay dating app Grindr has said they are ‘very upset’ over being banned in Turkey.

GSN reported yesterday (11 September) users were unable to get onto the website, app, and database.

According to gay rights group KAOS GL, Istanbul’s Criminal Court of Peace blocked the app as a ‘protection measure.’

In a statement made to Gay Star News, a Grindr spokesman said they were ‘very upset’ over the action.

September 11, 2013

Hook-up app and website for gay and bisexual men is blocked by the Criminal Court as a 'protection measure'

Turkey has banned, censored and blocked the gay dating app Grindr, it was revealed today (11 September).

The online database and website are inaccessible in the country from yesterday evening, according to the main Turkish LGBT association KAOS GL.

According to the gay rights group, Istanbul’s Criminal Court of Peace blocked the app as a ‘protection measure’.

A user attempting to access the hookup website received a message stating the Telecommunications Communication Presidency had implemented the measure.