Istanbul Lesbian Guide

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General Info

Turkish lesbian life has become very visible since early 2000's especially in Istanbul and several lesbian venues were opened in recent years. Until recently lesbians used to be minority in gay life of Istanbul, and they had to go to some of the gay bars because there were indeed few lesbian people that could go out comfortably. The main reason for this might be the women in general are not approved to go out on their own and stay late after midnights even if they are from modern families, partly also because of security reasons. This was just the opposite for gay men, because they would go out and stay late, using the male-oriented culture.

In fact culturally being lesbian can be more tolerated than being a gay men in Turkey. For instance, in the macho culture of the country "a girl like a boy" is a praising phrase while to be a boy like a girl is fairly humiliating. (!)

The society is also changing fast in recent years and as a result of the changing mentality, women in general including lesbians have more freedom than they used to have until several years ago. Internet has also helped a lot for these positive changes and Turkish lesbians are now more visible on the internet. There are numerious local lesbian chat channels, dating and personals websites and groups uniting Turkish lesbians.

Lesbian Venues in Istanbul:

 

Bigudi Club (10:00 - 05:00)
Lesbian exclusive only on Saturday nights.
Address: Istiklal Caddesi, Mis Sokak No. 5 (terrace floor) Taksim/Beyoglu, Istanbul (
See Google Map)
Bigudi is the first lesbian-exclusive venue of Istanbul and Turkey.  The venues was closed and re-opened several times and has changed address at least 4 times since they opened some 6-7 years ago. The address above is valid as of April 2011. It is open to lesbians only on Saturdays from 10:00 pm until 05. Although they open by 10 pm, the place usually becomes busy after 11:30.  On the other nights of the week (except Saturday) the same venue functions ad a cafe & bar open to gay males as well as lesbians under another name (Sarlo Cafe & Pub).  It is located on Mis Sokak, a small street connecting to Istiklal, not far from Taksim square (on the right side if you walk from Taksim). The venue is on the terrace floor of the building with street #5. There is a regular cafe called 'Altin Plak' at the entrance floor of the same building.
Facebook.com/pages/Bigudi_Club (only for lesbians od Saturdays)

Facebook.com/pages/Sarlo Cafe Pub (for gay & lesbians mix on other nights)
 

Visitor feedbacks:
"Club is free to enter on Friday nights. There is entrance fees on Saturday nights. Only women are allowed to enter to the club. The music is mixture of Turkish and European pop and the DJ is fairly good." 07/04/2009

Catwalk Women Club (22:30 - 04:00 am)
Address: Istiklal Caddesi, Balo Sokak No. 31. Kat 3 (3rd Floor)  Beyoglu/Istanbul.
See Google Map

http://www.facebook.com/CatwalkWomenClub

Cat Walk was opened as an exclusively lesbian bar in February 2013. Inherently, gay or straight no men are allowed in the bar. It is on the 3rd floor of the building on this narrow night life street called Balo Sokak. There is a straight traditional all-male cafe-house at the entrance of the same building which might look repellent from outside for lesbian ladies but no worries; the whole building is full of gay friendly venues, including an explicit gay bar (Chianti) at the lower floor of this bar.

 

Rocinante Cafe & Bar (11:00 am - 02:00 am)
Address: Sakiz Agaci Caddesi, Ogut Sokak No:6/2 (2nd floor) Beyoglu/Istanbul.
See Google Map
Ogut Sokak is a alley/street somewhere behind the small mosque (Aga Camii) on Istiklal Avenue. Rocinante was not an officially declared as a lesbian venue previously but it was a visible gathering spot for especially butch lesbians for many years.  It is been turned into a typical gay venue (cafe & bar) since early 2013, but it can still be considered as a lesbian friendly venue.

Facebook.com/groups/189681541180553/
 

SSS WomenClub Opened and closed down in 2012


Karantina Closed down in 2010, short time after it was opened.

Backbahce It was part of a gay club (Barbahce), which closed down completely in February 2010.

 


 

Lesbian - Friendly Venues in Istanbul:

Besinci Kat/Fifth Floor (09:00 – 02:00)
Address: Siraselviler Caddesi, Soganci Sokak No:7, Kat:5 (5th floor) Cihangir - Beyoglu, Istanbul
Web: http://www.5kat.com/ 
This roof restaurant-bar is on the 5th floor of a building located at the beginning of Cihangir, residential quarter of Taksim/Beyoglu districts where many Europeans, artists and intellectuals live. It is comfortably recommended to lesbians with its liberal atmosphere. There used to a be senior gay club at the entrance of the same building, which is closed in 2010.  Meals are not very cheap but still reasonably priced when you consider the painstakingly prepared meals and breathtaking view of Bosphorus straight and Asian part of Istanbul. Its also has a small bar usually busy in the evenings and open until around 01:00 am. The food is expensive but drinks at the bar of the restaurant are cheaper than most of the gay clubs. It would make you feel special to know you are eating your meal or drinking a glass of wine on Europe , while watching the beginning of Asian continent laying in front of your eyes. Soganci Sokak is the street opposing Taksim Ilk Yardim Hastanesi (a state hospital)

X-Large  (23:00-05:00) Open Friday/Saturday
Address: Mesrutiyet Caddesi (street) Kallavi Sokak (lane) No: 12 Beyoglu, Istanbul.
X Large is a gay club but also welcomes lesbians. You can see many lesbians especially on Saturdays nights. Kallavi Sokak is somewhere opposing St. Antoine Church along the Istiklal. Opened in May 2009, X LARGE has become very popular weekend club where you can find the atmosphere of the big European gay clubs, even better then some. The venue itself is like a small ball room; very spacious and authentic for a gay club, where once there used to be a movie theater (Elhamra) one of the oldest of cinemas in Istanbul. Admission fee is required and a little higher than most other gay clubs in Istanbul (25 Lira as of 2009) but it is worth well for most people who want to be in a place offering very professional shows & great music in an upper scale environment. Open on Fridays and Saturdays.

 

The price, atmosphere and clientele of Love Club and Penthouse are also very similar to X-Large, where you can also see some lesbian women frequently. In fact lesbians can be seen in any other gay bars, if not very often.

 

Please click here for a complete list of gay bars and clubs in Istanbul:
 


 

 

Turkish Lesbians on the Internet
 

Please note that there are dozens of websites and chat channels for Turkish lesbians but here we are only listing few of them which have English content.

Turkish Lesbians Personals and Dating  
Yahoo group aiming to bring Turkish lesbians with the English speaking lesbians overseas.
Click Here to Join !
 
Lambda Istanbul
Turkish gay and lesbian liberation organization located in Istanbul
Address: Istiklal Caddesi (street) Tel Sokak (lane) Katip Celebi Mahallesi (locality) 28/5, Kat:4 (4th floor) Beyoglu - Istanbul
Phone:+90212 245 70 68
Google Map Locating Tel Sokak (lane)

Kaos GL
Turkey's first exclusively gay lesbian magazine which also formed a gay&lesbian rights organization in capital city Ankara recently.

Kaos GL Culture centerl
Open Wednesday, Thursday Friday Saturday between 14:00 - 18:00 hrs
Address: Gazi Mustafa Kemal Bulvari, 29/12 Demirtepe, Kizilay / ANKARA
Phone/ Fax: 0312 230 03 58
Web: http://www.kaosgl.com


  
 

Lesbian Travel Guide


Lesbian Friendly Travel Agency
 

Istanbul gay com is a cooperation of Pride Travel which is owned and managed by a lesbian lady.
http://www.turkey-gay-travel.com/aboutus.html 
They will be happy to help you organize your holiday plans in Istanbul and Turkey. You can visit their office just to say hello and have a cup of tea.

Recommended Istanbul Hotels for Lesbian
Below listed hotels in Istanbul can especially be recommended to Lesbian tourists. They are located in safe and central neighborhoods and offer good prices comparatively.
 

HOTEL

BRIEF DESCRIPTION

WEBPAGE

Average Rates:  Single 60-80, Double 75 Euro -  100 Euro.
With a very peaceful and friendly atmosphere, Hotel Nomade is one of the exceptional accommodation option for single ladies and lesbian couples. It lies in the heart of Sultanahmet, Istanbul's popular district in old city. The hotels is offering deluxe rooms in a homely boutique establishment.
Direct Reservation

Average Rates: 75-95 Euro for a double room

Especially recommended to lesbians clients, due to its quality and very liberal administration. Rooms with Air-condition, Direct phone, Satellite TV, Wireless ADSL Internet Access etc. You can book this hotel from lesbian-owned Istanbul Pride Travel by using the link on the right.

 Book this hotel

  

Recommended Lesbian Links


 

International Lesbian Resources 
International Lesbian resources practically listed based on location (country/city) listing lesbian dating, personals, news, publications, lesbian groups and organizations and other lesbian websites.

Lesbian Worlds - Providing resources and information of issues, events, politics, discussions and community.

For lesbian link exchange with us please Click Here
But first add our link as below:

Link to: http://www.istanbulgay.com/lesbian.htm
Title: Istanbul and Turkish Lesbians.
Description: Istanbul and Turkish Lesbian Guide. Meeting points, bars, clubs, hotels, personals and dating websites.

 


  

Gay Travel


Click here for Istanbul city tours by gay owned local travel agency
 

Accommodation


These hotels are promising best price guarantee for bookings from Istanbulgay.Com

You can make direct reservation to most hotels, and contribute to this website
 


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