Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Talk about lesbians in Turkey

Contrary to what many people believe, it’s actually more acceptable to be lesbian in Turkey than it is to be a gay man. In Turkey’s macho culture, saying a girl is like a boy is praiseworthy, whereas saying a boy is like a girl is an insult.

Once upon a time, lesbians were a minority on the Turkish gay scene. Anyone wanting to hit the town was forced to head to Istanbul’s gay bars. Now, society is changing. Lesbians – and women in general – have more freedom to do as they please. Thanks to the internet, where forums, dating sites and message boards have helped form strong lesbian communities, lesbians are becoming more visible. However, it’s still a little difficult to find lesbians in Istanbul – not to mention lesbian hangouts. It’s easier to find goth hangouts, or even gay bear gatherings. This is partly due to the fact that most single Turkish women live with their parents – and staying out past the witching hour is a big no-no. Most women you’ll see in Istanbul’s lesbian hangouts are foreigners. Chances are, the Turkish lesbians you will see won’t be out to their families and the very act of hitting Istanbul’s lesbian hangouts is an act of secrecy.

If you’d like to meet English-speaking Turkish lesbians, you can try joining an online community. This Yahoo group is the biggest English-speaking community.

Like any underground or minority scene, you just have to know where to go. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best places to go if you’re a lesbian in Istanbul (if you're a gay guy hoping for similar info, check here):


Open: Friday and Saturday, 10pm to 4am.

Address: 3 Floor, 20 Imam Adnan Sokak, Istiklal Caddesi, Beyoglu

Bigudi is currently Turkey’s only exclusively lesbian club. All of the staff – down to the security guards and the accountant – are lesbians, and only women can enter the club. Prices are quite reasonable and you only have to pay to get in on a Saturday night. The music is a mix of Turkish and European pop.

During the day Bigudi Cafe, in the same building, is also a popular hangout, but less hectic than the club nights.


Open: Friday and Saturday, 11pm to 5am.

Address: 11 Imam Adnan Sokak, Istiklal Caddesi, Beyoglu

This women-only club has been open for almost a year and Istanbul’s lesbian community flocks here for live music, karaoke and DJ sets.


Open: Friday and Saturday, 11pm to 2am.

Address: 2nd Floor, 6 Ohut Sokak, Sakiz Agaci Caddesi, Beyoglu

While it’s not officially a lesbian bar, most of the clientele and the staff are lesbians – usually the more butch type. Prices are low and it gets very busy. You’ll find Ogut Sokak behind the Aga Camii (mosque on Istaklal Ave.


Open: Fridays and Saturdays 11pm to 5am.

Address: 20, Balo Sokak, Istiklal Caddesi, Beyoglu.

This club is gay and lesbian friendly. There are often a considerable number of lesbians here thanks to the lesbian-managed Cilek Cafe on the third floor of the same building.


Open: Friday and Saturday, 11pm to 5am.

Address: 12, Kallavi Sokak, Mesruiyet Caddesi, Beyogl

X-large is an Istanbul gay club that’s also lesbian-friendly. Saturday night is the time for lesbian spotting. X-large is a huge club that’s become very popular in recent years. You’ll need to pay to get in and it’s a little pricey to buy drinks. There are good live shows, however, and an atmosphere comparable to some of Europe’s best gay clubs


  1. I think if a female wants to hang out in a lesbian way or live that lifestyle that she should be allowed to be accept the consequences for her sluty actions.

    1. Why does being a lesbian mean someone is a 'slut'?

  2. Looks interesting, ill be sure to check it out. Cheap property in Turkey