Although homosexuality can be traced back to Ottoman times, a stigma is still attached to it: Indeed, the worst insult used among Turks (especially at soccer games) is ibne, a term referring to the receiving partner in a same-sex act. So while practically speaking, homosexuality in Turkey is legal between consenting partners above the age of 18, the growing LGBT community endures a whole host of societal discrimination. But as elsewhere, it's slowly, incrementally getting better. For more specific information on gay- and lesbian-friendly venues, log onto www.istanbulgay.com.
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