Turkish lesbian life has become very visible since early 2000's especially in Istanbul and several lesbian venues were opened in recent years. Before that lesbians used to be a very small minority in gay life of Istanbul. They had to go to some of the male gay bars because there were indeed very few lesbian women that could go out comfortably. In Turkey their parents do not allow the young, single women to go out on their own and stay up until morning hours traditionally. This was partially because of conservative family structure and partially because of security concerns. Whereas, this situation is just the opposite for gay men, as they could go out more easily thanks to the andocentric culture. There has been a significant change in this traditional family structure since early 90's.
As a result of the changing mentality, women in general including lesbians have more freedom than they used to have. Internet has also helped a lot for these positive changes and Turkish lesbian women are now more visible on the internet as well as night life. There are numerous local lesbian chat channels, dating and personals websites and groups uniting Turkish lesbians.
Lesbian Venues in Istanbul:
Club (22:00 - 05:00)
Address: Istiklal Caddesi, Mis Sokak, No:5 , Taksim / Beyoglu, Istanbul (top floor)
Bigudi is the first ever exclusively lesbian venue opened in Turkey. The venues has been closed down, re-opened and changed location several times since it was first opened in December 2006. It is open only for lesbian women on Saturday nights from 10:00 pm until 05 am, and men are not allowed inside under any circumstances. Although they open doors by 10 pm, the place usually becomes busy after / around midnight. Bigudi Club is located on Mis Sokak, a small street off Istiklal avenue, not far from Taksim square. 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, knowing which may help you to find the right building where it is located.
Gia Club (22:00 - 04:00)
Address: Istiklal Cad. Ayhan Isik Sokak, No:5/1 (2nd Floor). Beyoglu, Istanbul (See Google Map)
The new lesbian venue opened in 2014 and getting popular each passing day. It is centrally located on Ayhan Isik street. There is a Garanti Bank branch at the corner street where it connects to Istiklal Avenue, which can help you to spot the street. It is located on the second floor. It may be difficult and confusing to find the place at first because it has no visible sign-board on the street and you have to pass through another (none-gay) bar to get to the right floor. That it a Karaoke Bar which has the sign-board and you can find the right building that way. It is gay and lesbian mix during the week, but open only for lesbian women on Saturdays. Check out their Facebook page once in a while for any possible changes.
Former Lesbian Bars and Clubs:
Following venues may still be listed on some out-dated internet website. We are listing them so that you can be sure they do not exit anymore.
Rocinante Bar - Closed down completely in early 2016.
Catwalk Women Club - Closed in a very short time in 2013
SSS Women Club - Opened and closed down in 2012
Karantina - Closed down in 2010, short time after it was opened.
Lesbian Friendly Venues
Bahce - 23:30 - 05:00 (Friday-Saturday)
Address: Nevizade Sokak No:15, Galatasarayi Beyoğlu, Istanbul.
Gizli Bahce is not a gay / lesbian place officially and it is not a place where you would see lesbians all the time. But it is still considered as a gay / lesbian friendly venue unofficially and it is quite likely to meet other lesbians there. It is also used as a meeting point by lesbians on special occasions. It is located on famous Nevizade street which is one of the most popular bar & restaurant street in Beyoglu; with tables placed outside along the street and full of people drinking, eating and chatting. Gizli Bahce also has few tables on the street but its main venue is upstairs and it also has a terrace facing the other side of the building, which is probably inspiration of the venue's name (which means Secret Garden).
Love Club - 23:30 - 05:00 (Friday-Saturday)
Address: Cumhuriyet Caddesi No: 349 Harbiye Istanbul.
This gay club is located in Harbiye district, on the main avenue about 15-20 minutes walking distance to Taksim Square. It is better to take a texi after midnight. An honest taxi ride should cost round 5 lira (2-3 Euros). It is open on Friday and Saturday nights. Saturday is the most busy night and there are some good shows usually. They are rigid about the admission fee on Saturday nights. The tickets are around 10-15 Euro but you will get 1 drink with it, which is a typical price and practice in similar clubs. If it is the first time you are going there it is hard to notice the venue at first sight. The entrance is on a very narrow street, down the steps from the main avenue. It is just round the corner of a linens shop called English Home, which is easier to notice with a big obtrusive sign-board. If you take taxi from Taksim tell the driver that you will get off at "Askeri Muze" /Military museum in Harbiye. The club is across the main street with respect to Askeri Muze building.
Super Fabric (23:00 - 05:00)
Address: Cumhuriyet Caddesi No:42 Elmadag / Sisli, Istanbul, Turkey
Although it was opened recently in late October 2014, Super Fabric is not new to gay night clubbers living in Istanbul. The manager of Super Fabric is the same person who was in charge of X-Large, the club which brought the professional shows to Istanbul's gay nightlife. Likewise, Super Fabric is taking its place with very professional concept shows in European standards. They usually charge entrance fee on Friday and Saturday nights, and although it is a little over average it might be worth when you consider the quality of the shows. It is located at some 10 minutes walking distance to the north of Taksim Square somewhere on Cumhuriyet Caddesi avenue that goes towards Harbiye / Sisli districts, roughly across from Konak Hotel. Please note that the entrance gate is not facing the main avenue. It is on a very short blind-street off the Cumhuriyet Caddesi. Super Fabric is not open on some week-in days, hence it is advised to check out their Facebook posts to make sure when there are open.. The price, atmosphere and clientele of Love Club and Super Fabric are very similar, 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:
Check out our Istanbul Gay Map for exact locations of all gay and lesbian venues 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 Lesbian Group
Yahoo group aiming to bring Turkish lesbians with the English speaking lesbians overseas.
Click Here to Join !
Voltrans is a solidarity group trying to bring trans-lesbian group open to "everyone who are biologically women, but do not identify "herself" as women". You can get in touch by their Facebook page. Although most people do not speak English there, you can still take a chance.
Turkish gay and lesbian liberation organization located in Istanbul
Turkey's first exclusively gay lesbian magazine which also formed a gay&lesbian rights organization in capital city Ankara recently.
Web: http://www.kaosgl.com & Facebook.com/KaosGL94
Travel and Accommodation
Friendly Travel Agency
Istanbul gay com is a cooperation of Pride Travel which is owned and managed by a lesbian lady.
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.
Average Rates: Single/Double 30-70 Euro depending on
room type & season
Very centrally located and lesbian friendly apart hotel near Taksim has a variety of well designed suite rooms. 24 hour reception, breakfast and airport transfers, discounts for Istanbulgay.Com available ! .
Direct Reservation >>
Average Rates: Single/Double 50-90 Euro depending on
room type & season
Noble Galata is a very gay and lesbian friendly guest house near Taksim, Istanbul. The guest house is conveniently located in historical Pera (Beyoglu) district at walking distance from Taksim Square and the main gay bars and clubs as well as touristic, cultural, shopping and entertainment sites.
Direct Reservation >>
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