Just like gays and lesbians, transgender people are more visible in Istanbul's most liberal districts such as Beyoglu and Taksim. Most of them live in the near-by quarters such as Cihangir, Harbiye and Kurtulus. Most of the trans-clubs are also located around Taksim. It is also possible to contact them in several cruising areas and on the internet. No surprisingly, almost all transvestites and transsexuals earn their living from prostitution, and actually there is a considerable demand for them as a result of 'bisexual' culture of the country. Most of the trans people living in Istanbul are transvestites. Although they do not have sex-change operations, majority of transvestites/shemales use woman hormones, have silicon tits, undergo esthetic operations, epilating etc. and they look completely as transsexuals from outside. Rarely, some queers/gay men can also go to several gay or trans clubs as drag-queens /cross dressers on weekend nights, especially on Saturdays.
going into a trans-club in Istanbul you should know the
rituals. There are regular transvestites and
transsexuals in every club, who are associated with the
management as b-girls/hostesses. The major patrons of
trans-clubs are middle aged bi-sexual men. Although they
are not officially employed the duty of the regular
"girls" is to make these clients buy them drink. That
is, if any one of them sits and talks with you at the
bar or at your table, this means you should buy and pay
for her drinks too. In this case the drinks you offer
them are roughly double priced, which is also known by
the loyal clients. The trans-girls take their commission
from the extra drinks offered to them individually. If
you are avoiding this make sure to explain the bar-staff
that you are not paying their drinks. The trans-girls
can go out with clients, for which the bargain should be
done in advance and clearly. Club girls may cost you
more, but ultimately they are more trustable than the
ones you meet in the outdoor cruising places .
Bahriyeli Pub (22:00-04:00)
Address: Tarlabasi Avenue, Kalyoncu Kullugu Cad, No: 8, Cukur Mahallesi, İstanbul
A small transgender / she-male club located in Tarlabası, the sleazy neighborhood of the Taksim / Beyoglu district. It is located a few block from Tarlabasi Avenue separating Taksim from Tarlabasi. Easy to find by the help of our up-to-date Istanbul Gay & LGBT Map: the prices are cheaper then others and no entrance fees are required. You need to be cautious in the vicinity and about the people you befriend in here as in other similar trans clubs.
Sahra Club (24:00-04:00)
Address: Istiklal Cad. Sadri Alisik Sokak, No: 42 Beyoglu Istanbul.
It is located on the right hand side of Sadri Alisik, across the small mosque (Huseyin Aga Camii) on Istiklal Avenue. It is comparatively cheaper than other transvestite clubs and mostly patronized by young ghetto boys who like Tgirls and she-males, as well as some gay men and flamboyant queers on weekend nights who like this type of boys. Besides regular transvestites, this is where you can see cross-dressers usually on Saturday nights. Do not go here with a lot of money and watch your wallet.
Club 17 - 23:00-05:00
Address: Istiklal Caddesi, Zambak Sokak No: 17, Istanbul
Located very close to Taksim square, on the left of small alley called Zambak Sokak if you walk in from Istiklal Avenue . Club 17 is defined as a gay-club by the owners but it is actually a fairly mix place hosting gay men, rent-boys and visibly she-males. The difference of the venue is that the trans-girls also comes here as clients. Beware of the boys and "girls" you pick up from here. It is a typical reflection of city's underground night life.
Following venues have been closed down
The trans clubs are no more as popular as they used to be after the internet become widespread. Consequently, some of the venues closed down or changed their concept in recent years.
No Name / Prive Club - Closed down in 2018.
Club 1001 - Closed down as trans club, Re-opened with a different name with a completely different concept.
Hengame - Closed down in 2012
Ege 97 Closed down completely.
Cabare 33 The venue is open but it is no more a trans club.
Pink Club The venue is open but it is no more a trans club.
There are some streets known for cruising transvestites
and transsexuals who are out there for making prostitution
in most cases. They do
"hitchhiking" on the high-ways outside of the city. They
also hang around on the main street between Taksim and
Şişli visibly, mostly with their cars and after
midnight. This kind of cruising places are not
safe in general, and you should not be carrying a lot of
money on you, more than you do not mind to loose. There
are also a few back-streets in Beyoglu and Sisli
Districts where they live
in several buildings collectively, such as
Kucuk Bayram Sokak and
Trans-people fight for their rights and support each
other more than the local gay-people in Istanbul.
Unfortunately they are introduced to the society
negatively as aggressive people by the mass media,
mostly screening their fierce reaction to police
pressure. The news about them is mostly headlined in the
newspapers as "Travesti Teroru" (transvestite terror).
Transsexuals are welcomed and represented in city's
major gay & lesbian association called Lambda Istanbul.
Whereas, some of them has separated from Lambda in 2009
to form a new solidarity group, called
Istanbul LGBTI to
concentrate more intensively on the problems and rights
of transvestite & transsexual people living in Istanbul.
There is another solidarity group called
Pembe Hayat (Pink Life) which is more concentrated
on Transgender rights, but it is based in Ankara
There are no specific laws against trans-people, but the public pressure and discrimination is very common. Despite this, some irreverent laws and regulations have been used against them in many cases. Sometimes, they are fined for making prostitution, which is actually illegal in Turkey. Transsexuals can obtain a have women ID officially, based on a report given by a committee of doctors and have equal rights with women, including marriage.
Address: Barbaros Bulvarı No:36 / 5 Balmumcu, Beşiktaş.(ATV Binası karşısı)
Owned by a lovely and very LGBT friendly lady, Yasmin Estetik is a beauty parlor offering almost all services you can get from a beauty parlor including botoks, skin care treatments, laser depilation etc.
Address: Rumeli Cad. Baytar Ahmet Sok. No:2 Kat:4 Nişantasi – Istanbul
A very gay & LGBT friendly beauty parlor located very centrally in upscale Nisantasi district. They offer typical services you could find in beauty saloons such as such as laser hair removal, skin care, botox treatment, hair transplantation, manicure, pedicure and other similar beauty care services . Their prices are very reasonable.
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