Study Abroad in Turkey

  • dj246

    Posts: 4

    May 19, 2013 2:24 AM GMT
    Hi, everyone.

    I am currently a junior in college and I'm thinking about studying abroad in Istanbul next school year for a semester. I think that area of the world has such an interesting history and culture that's different from the US and it would be such a cool experience.

    My problem is, although Turkey is probably the most progressive Islamic country of them all, Islamic countries in general aren't particularly fond of gay people (I know not everyone in Turkey is Islamic). I don't want to choose my study abroad destination based on this one factor, but it is something that worries me. I want to make Turkish friends and try to learn as much as possible about the culture, this means interacting with people a lot. But when making friends, especially at university and with other guys, my sexuality is bound to come up, as talking about girls is kind of part of the straight guy bonding experience. Should I just be honest about being gay there? I know I should obviously be careful with who I tell and stuff like that, but is it worth the potential risk? I don't have too much of a problem hiding it if I have too, I just don't want to get stuck in an uncomfortable situation where I might have to come out. Maybe I'm just over-thinking things too much?

    Maybe I'm just being ignorant about how bad it is over there. I have tried reading up about this online and found some stuff, both good and bad, about homosexuality in Turkey, including the BBC news article about the pink "gay" certificates that people use to get out of the army requirement and about their pride parades.

    Another idea I had was using planetromeo to meet some guys around my age who are gay to make friends with. Do you think this is a good idea? Could I be potentially setting myself up for something bad? Has anyone ever used that site to meet other people? I know that it's used a lot for hookups which isn't something I'm particularly interested in. Dating sure!

    Sorry for such a long post, but you replies are greatly appreciated.

    And if you've ever been to Istanbul, please share your experience!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 21, 2013 3:47 AM GMT
    I don't have friends directly from Turkey but I did make friends in colleges with people from the countries that surround Turkey, such as Georgia, Russia, and Azerbhaizan. All these guys have been straight and very receptive to me being gay. Many of the younger generations rebel against the older, more traditional & orthodox views of the culture from what I have seen.

    I plan to travel to Turkey & visit friends in the area of the world next week so maybe I can offer more thorough thoughts in the coming weeks.

    Good luck!