BISEXUAL, GAY, AND LESBIAN TRAVELERS
Although homosexuality is legal in Turkey and Northern Cyprus, religious and social dictates keep most homosexual activity discreet. Homophobia can be a problem, especially in remote areas; expect authorities to be unsympathetic. Gay and lesbian travelers will benefit from the close contact that Turks maintain with same-sex friends. Public displays of affection should be avoided.
Turkey’s urban centers do not lack bars or informal cruising areas (men only), although they may be less obvious. Lambda İstanbul, a gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered support group, lists resources and guides to gay-friendly establishments on its website.
For more information on gay and lesbian travel, contact the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association, an organization of over 1350 companies serving gay and lesbian travelers worldwide. Call for lists of agents, accommodations, and events. Out and About offers a biweekly newsletter addressing gay travel concerns.
TRAVELERS WITH DISABILITIES
Turkey and Northern Cyprus are only slowly beginning to respond to the needs of travelers with disabilities. Some hotels, train stations, and airports have installed facilities for the disabled; many of the archaeological sites throughout the region, however, are still not wheelchair accessible. Traveling with disabilities is generally very difficult in Eastern Turkey. It may be difficult for people with disabilities lo travel on a budget in Turkey.
Those with disabilities should inform airlines and hotels of their disabilities when making arrangements for travel; some time may be needed to prepare special accommodations. Call ahead to restaurants, hotels, and other facilities about I lie existence of ramps, the widths of doors, the dimensions of elevators.