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Famous Turks Series...Gay Singer Fatih Ürek wants to inherit Zeki Müren's title as 'Pasha of Bodrum'.
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Türkiye -- A Gay Haven?
Part 1

In Turkey - Türkiye'de

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Gays give thanks to Bodrum...
Some gay males brought girls! (top)
Miss Lolita discusses parenting. (bottom)

Gays give thanks to Bodrum
Click for enlargement.

Thanks Gözcü Gazetesi -- 27 June 2006

Is Turkey a haven for lesbians, gays, bisexuals,
transvestites, and transsexuals?

That there is a thriving community of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transvestites and transsexuals (LGBTT) in the larger cities of Turkey (especially Istanbul) is a pretty open secret. (We touched peripherally on the subject in our blog on the Turkish Homophobia Awards.) And except for those in the latter category of sexual 'orientation' above, that community has existed for a long time apparently. Homosexuality in Ottoman times is well documented, efendim...

And, these days, the never ending rumors about Tarkan's true sexual orientation ...together with recent declarations by model Şebnem Schaefer (about ex-boyfriend [singer, actor] Özcan Deniz's alleged bisexuality) attest to the fact that there's still considerable attention paid to the subject in modern times too. (Deniz furiously denies the allegations and is taking Şebnem Schaefer to court for slander. But, this is not the first time that bisexual allegations have been made against him. The last time it happened, he did a photo-shoot for Aktuel Dergisi (Magazine) posing in a stereo-typical gay outfit,.. just to 'prove' to everyone how secure he actually was in his own masculinity. It sort of worked, and the allegations faded.)

But, anyway... in the entertainment ranks of Turkey's Rich and Famous, the LGBTT-issue really doesn't create much scandal nowadays. Alleged-LGBTT like those mentioned above (and even more obvious and controversial ones like legendary transsexual performer Bülent Ersoy (who went through hell defending her sexual choices in the 1980s) or the gay singer Fatih Ürek (who openly seeks to usurp Zeki Müren [1931-1996] as 'The Pasha' in Bodrum) maintain high levels of public acceptance and popularity -- and demand (and receive) higher than ever fees.

But what about the ordinary 'LGBTT' in the street? Is he/she readily accepted by the general public? Well that's not at all clear. On the brighter side, consider the story (in the photo-article above from yesterday's Gözcü Gazetesi) -- that demonstrates Turkish tolerance (and hospitality) at its best, for both foreign and in-country LGBTTs...

Gays give thanks to Bodrum -- The Club Med Vacation Village is filled in a sudden rush, after 600 gay (read LGBTT) vacationers arrive.

The 1200 guest-capacity Club Med Vacation Village has opened its doors to 600 tourists brought to Bodrum by English Alternative Holidays, the largest Gay Tour Operator in the world. And because of a sudden influx of curiosity-seeking 'straight' customers, the village is now full to the brim. The Club Med management is paying a lot of attention to security around the gay cottages, so that gay guests will feel safe and be able to have a relaxed, good time.

The gay customers come mostly from central and northern Europe, but in all, more than 20 countries are represented -- including Turkey itself with 60 guests from in-country. All are appreciative of the tight Club Med security.

The gay male tourists are professional doctors, pharmacists, computer experts, bankers, real estate brokers, movie directors, architects, even rugby players -- and, curiously, many of them have brought beautiful young girls with them. [Ed. That's shades of the Cuba Gooding gay cruise film, "Boat Trip"...innit?]

And among the gay clientele there are special personalities like the bisexual man from France, who calls himself Miss Lolita. He's received a lot of attention because of the fact that he's married to a woman with whom he has fathered two children! "I left my wife at home," he said, "and came with my boyfriend."

But if that's the brighter side of the gay scene in Turkey, there's also a darker side -- which we expose in Türkiye -- A Gay Haven? Part 2...
In Turkey - Türkiye'de

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    © Issues for Lesbians, Bisexuals, Gays, Transvestities and Transexuals -- Turkish Gay Vacations -- Fatih Ürek, Bülent Ersoy, Zeki Müren, --
    The Şebnem Schaefer/Özcan Deniz brouhaha