Mike sent in this article about homosexuality in Turkey today and I found it an interesting and enlightening read. Here’s a brief excerpt, but be sure to click through to read the full story on Mike’s website Mantalya—An Englishman’s experience & life in Turkey.

Even though some see Turkey as a strong Islamic country, albeit a secular one, homosexuality in Turkey is actually not a crime. There is an age of consent of 18 between two consenting adults as it is with two heterosexual people. However, what does linger in the Turkish penal code is the vaguely worded “offences against public morality” which has often in the past been bought into practice to curtail and harass anyone showing homosexual tendencies or behaviour.

Notwithstanding that, for most Turkish families having an openly gay or lesbian child would be seen as a disconcerted stain on the family. In July 2011, in a report by the World Values Survey, revealed that when Turkish citizens were asked “what type of people they would not like seeing in their neighborhood” a whopping 84% answered “homosexual people”. The list continued with people with aids, unmarried couples and atheist! It shouldn’t come as a shock though and I for one do not blame the Turkish people for their reply. Whereas, most of the free thinking world are educated on sexuality, even going so far as to teach it’s youth in schools that homosexuality is far from something to be ashamed, in Turkey that level of social and sexual education is zero and is likely to remain zero for a very long time to come.

Learn more about homosexuality in Turkey here. Mike also provided information about the Istanbul gay pride (a whopping 20,000 attendees last year!). Also, Mike recommends the 2012 film about gays in Turkey, Zenne Dancer.