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
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
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
Facebook.com/pages/Sarlo Cafe Pub (for gay & lesbians
mix on other nights)
"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."
Catwalk Women Club (22:30 - 04:00 am)
Address: Istiklal Caddesi, Balo Sokak No. 31. Kat 3 (3rd
See Google Map
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)
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.
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
Besinci Kat/Fifth Floor (09:00 02:00)
Soganci Sokak No:7, Kat:5 (5th floor) Cihangir -
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
click here for a complete list of gay bars and clubs in
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 !
Turkish gay and lesbian liberation organization located in
Address: Istiklal Caddesi (street) Tel Sokak (lane) Katip
Celebi Mahallesi (locality) 28/5, Kat:4 (4th floor) Beyoglu
Phone:+90212 245 70 68
Locating Tel Sokak (lane)
Turkey's first exclusively gay lesbian magazine which also
formed a gay&lesbian rights organization in capital city
Kaos GL Culture centerl
Open Wednesday, Thursday Friday Saturday between 14:00 -
Address: Gazi Mustafa Kemal Bulvari, 29/12 Demirtepe,
Kizilay / ANKARA
Phone/ Fax: 0312 230 03 58