Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) persons in Turkey face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBTQ residents, though Turkey’s LGBTQ rights are considered to be relatively progressive compared to most other Muslim-majority countries.
LGBTQ History in Turkey
In the 1980s, the national government, whether democratically elected or as a result of a coup d’état, opposed the existence of a visible LGBTQ community, especially within the political context.
Some openly gay people were able to be successful in the 1980s. Murathan Mungan has been openly gay throughout his professional life as a successful poet and writer. However, many gay and bisexual men who lived during this period have since said in interviews that they felt pressured by social attitudes and government policy to remain in the closet about their sexual identity.
In the 1980s, the Radical Democratic Green Party expressed support for gay rights, including the work of a group of transgender people to protest police brutality. However, it was not until the 1990s that many members of the LGBTQ community in Turkey began to organise on behalf of their human rights.
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