Syrian and Iraqi members of LGBT community have found a haven – of sorts – in Istanbul

Turkey Map and FlagAugust 16, 2015 – Reported by the Independent.co.uk – Sweat drips down brows and whirling lights illuminate the faces of the energised crowd as Saturday night slips into Sunday morning in Tek Yön, Istanbul’s best-known gay club.

You may think of Istanbul as a place of postcard-pretty mosques, winding markets and exotic spices. Or you may recently have heard it mentioned in the news, as a gateway for foreign jihadists headed to Syria and Iraq. Among all of these realities sits Tek Yön, where you’ll find gay exiles from every sect and ethnicity in the Middle East. Elsewhere, they might be enemies; here, they dance together. “Istanbul is a bubble of freedom and gay rights in the region, and Tek Yön is a good meeting point for gay Syrians and gay Arabs in general,” explains Subhi, from Syria.

While those waving flags of black head south from the city, another community has trickled in from the opposite direction, carrying the rainbow banner: LGBT refugees from across this volatile and conservative region have found in Istanbul a sanctuary of sorts…story continues below…

via Syrian and Iraqi members of LGBT community have found a haven – of sorts – in Istanbul – Middle East – World – The Independent.

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