The only place with a recognized gay scene is İstanbul, though the more liberal towns of Antalya and İzmir and the resorts of Bodrum, Marmaris and Alanya are considered gay-friendly.
Homosexual acts between adults over 18 are legal, but existing laws against “spreading homosexual information” in print – ie advocating the lifestyle – are sporadically enforced, “Gay Pride” festivals have been forcibly cancelled and cruising is an offence.
Also, many Turks are devout (or at least conservative) Muslims, so you should adhere to local dress codes – particularly away from resorts and when visiting mosques. If you really can’t spare the time, mime “thanks” by placing one hand on your chest and pointing with the other to your watch and then in the direction you’re headed.
If offered a full meal, decline the first offer – if it’s sincere it will be repeated at least twice and custom demands that you accept the third offer.Being invited for a meal at a Turkish home is both an honour and an obligation. In urban, middle-class homes you’ll sit at a table and eat with cutlery.By contrast, wagging the head rapidly from side to side means “Explain, I don’t understand”, while a single, obliquely inclined nod means “yes”.In remoter areas, black and Asian people may find themselves something of a curiosity, and may receive unsolicited comments – ranging from (very pretty! Turkey is in fact one of the least racist countries around the Mediterranean.Turkish society has always been deeply ambivalent about male homosexuality, since the days of a rampantly bisexual Ottoman culture, when transvestite dancers and entertainers were the norm.
That said, public attitudes are generally intolerant or closeted.
While public drunkenness is unacceptable for both genders, this is especially true for women.
Turkish women have over the years devised successful tactics to protect themselves from harassment – specifically, avoiding eye contact with men and looking as confident and purposeful as possible.
Turks employ a variety of not immediately obvious body language.
Clicking the tongue against the roof of the mouth and simultaneously raising the eyebrows and chin means “no” or “there isn’t any”; those economical of movement will rely on their eyebrows alone.
In village houses, however, the meal is usually served at a low table with cushions on the floor; hide your feet under the table or a dropcloth provided for the purpose.