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The Your Stories section is all about you! Please take a minute to tell visitors of the ILGA website about what LGBTI life is like in reality. Please submit your personal story and share your experience!

Share your experiences in TURKEY - Let others know what it’s like to be LGBTI in your country! If an experience is meaningful for you, it will probably be meaningful for someone else. On whatever topic, whether good or bad, your story is how the world knows about your country and LGBTI life. By selecting tags that mark the topic your story, others can learn from your experience.
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Readers Experiences

This is what people are saying about life for LGBTI people in TURKEY...
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showing stories 1-50

My name is Cevat SOGUT, but I am better known to LGBT People in Turkey as Nikopol "Founder of Turk Gay Club"
I was fired from my job at a bank's cultural center being as a gay
and an gay activist at 2009
i hadn't worked for more then 15 months.
it's too difficult to be a gay "lgbt" in a islamic country.
there is some changes but
life is not getting better then yesterday in Turkey.
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Selma (user currently living in TURKEY) posted for gay readers on 21/07/2011 tagged with lgbt families +20
I was really concerned about my kids. I dedicated my life to them. They were everything to me in life. If anything were happen to them, i could not imagine my life afterwards, it would be pitch dark for me.
Tolga, my son, was my second child. I was planning to bring him up according to general social values in life and expectations. I made myself believe that i was playing my role perfect as an ideal mother figure. Like most of the mothers, i was observing them constantly, trying to help them out with the troubles they face and clear the path so that they can walk through in life with confidence. When i look at it now, i see that i was completely dependent to them. Now i realise it was more of a controlling than helping them out. My son was quite stressed out and anxious in his puberty years. I was aware that something was different about him. After having long conversations with him and observing his behaviours, i was suspecting that he could be gay or he could think that he was gay. I became anxious and was stressed out as well. When these thoughts battle in my mind, i was cheating myself saying that it was not possible since we were the parents who were bringing him up. This confusion could not go on like that.
One day, i nearly interrogated him, asking many questions, after 5 hours he came out to me, saying that he was gay. I witnessed how he was relaxed after that moment of coming out. He stopped crying and calmed down. Certainly, as he calmed down, my world was upside down and my anxiety was at top. I felt sorrow just like the day i had lost my father years ago…Lost…I lost my son after 17 years. I, identifying myself with him, lost myself as well. I could not recognise him anymore. Homosexuality was completely strange to the ideals that i had for him… How does he feel? What does he think of? In brief, what is homosexuality? My son whom i had known for years, did not exist anymore. He was a stranger. For a while we had got help from a psychologue. The psychologue made me realise about many things. In the meantime, i started to read books and articles about homosexuality. As i gained knowledge, i started to lose my fear. I began to understand why the society was afraid of gays. Ignorance or resistance to a new input in knowledge is the most horrible disease of all i reckon. I started to get acquinted him again from the beginning. In this hetic period, i always asked to myself ‘where could i end up other than loving a person?’. Forcing him to change or trying to make him fit into commonly accepted frame was meaningless. He was my son and meant more than my life to me. What was i afraid of? Was it that he would become someone i would not like him to be? Was it that he was completely different than what i had dreamed of? I realised that mine was a conditional love. Conditional love feeds expectations. When your expectations are met, you think that you love…I wanted to feel the unconditional love. So i started with loving myself first. Consequently, i began to love my children more.
I was born for the second time with him. I got to know myself better. My life and the way i look at life completely changed. When i met with his friends, his lovers, his close circle, i learned so many new things and i enjoyed that. Though it was late, I found the courage to ask myself ‘who am i?’. That is why he is my teacher. I am glad that our son found the courage to come out. Now, i have a completely different view about life and people. I would like to call out to all moms who have homosexual sons or daughters; please listen to your children by heart and try to be in contact as much as possible. Please be kind not to scare them with your prejudices and do not try to change them. Perhaps, you are the ones who should change. Just think for a moment that this system of moral and social values that condemn the other could be perfectly wrong. Read about it in order to gain knowledge first. It is a fact that being gay is not a disease and by rejecting this fact, we prepare an unhealty and unhappy future for them. The real love accepts it all. Just ask yourselves when you deal with your kids: What would love do in this situation?
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Mehmet (user currently living in TURKEY) posted for gay readers on 22/03/2014 tagged with illegality of male to male relationships +5
Kendimi bildim bileli erkek erkeğe ilişki eğilimi hazzı vardı. Gerek erginlik dönemimde gerekse yetişkin evremde cinsel tercihime yönelik eğilimim değişmedı. Hiç istemediğim bir ülkede yaşıyorum yasağın cehennem tarafında ezilen bir toplumla iç içeyim. Zaman zaman dışlandım zaman hor görüldüm zaman zaman da dövüldüm. Tek nedenleri ise GAY olmamdı. İleriyi görmeye devam edip bu mücadeleden vazgeçmeyecegim. Gerek ailem gerek çevrem olsun onları terk etmeye hazır olmuş durumdayım. İlahi nedenlerin etkisinde olan toplumum ne yazıkki karanlığı aşamamaktadır. Tamamen yasak tamamen hukuksuz bir devlette yaşıyorum. Aydın, çağdaş, ileri ve açık görüşlü toplumlarda yaşamayı çok isterdim.
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Anonym (user currently living in TURKEY) posted for gay lesbian transgender readers on 16/10/2013 tagged with armed forces +5
I want to mention the problems I face as a gay who is a high school senior. I came to the end of this rope.Leaving Turkey behind me, I want to run away as fast as I can when I graduate. I always knew that I'm gay. There was no conflict inside of me regarding this fact. I accepted myself at the very early age. I was determined to hide my sexual orientation because of the semi-religious environment I was raised in. As many people know, people in Turkey take pride their masculinity. It's the same in my family. As a child, I was brought up with the pressure of being more masculine because I'm feminine compared to my peers.
Destructive problems which compelled me to commit suicide many times came in when I just shaped my eyebrows and waxed legs.(It may seem foolish to tell these details but I want to show the reality.)
I was dismissed from the music course I'd been attending for 2 years with the claim that I was deteriorating their brand(!) in the public, being a bad model to kids in the music course.
My family didn't stand for me and they broke into my private life.(I don't want to be specific at this point)
It ended up with that my family got to know my sexuality and made my life like a hell.
Now, it's been one year since I cut the ties with them. I just want to run away from this country!
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(user currently living in NETHERLANDS) posted for gay readers on 06/01/2010 tagged with lgbt tourism +5
When my husband and I, just married (after 32 years of 'cohabitation')and on honeymoon in Istanbul, checked into the booked hotel, our reservation proved to be problematic because... the hotel staff ''had not prepared for two single beds''... they felt so sorry !
So, we said that a double bed was much better... but this revelation caused great embaraassment to them...
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(user currently living in TURKEY) posted for readers on 13/04/2011 tagged with teaching lgbt rights in schools +5
There are lesbian, gay, and trans student groups allowed in TURKEY, they are univercity clubs and some other civil clubs. Heterosexuals in TURKEY believe ( not all of them but most of them ) being gay is a problem, kind of sin and not a thing that thay can acept. Being lesbian doesn't caunt as a homosexuality. People usually ( especcially homophobics) believe that LGBT is a choice and a way to have attantion or the way which you can make people away with it..
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Fatih (user currently living in TURKEY) posted for gay readers on 08/08/2010 +3
I have a problem in Turkey, I was police 2 years ago but the government refuged me from police station and working for government.if you interest with my problem pls contact me....By the way my case still continue in lawsuit

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