I teach International Politics at a university in Britain. Just to make it clear: the Turkish government is the most secular one in the middle east. It is true that the recent one, namely AKP party is somehow conservative in terms of its focus on keeping Turkish traditions alive and keeping good reliations with the rest of Islamic World.
However naming them as a fundemantalist or an Islamist party would be too unfair when you look at their strong efforts to unify Turkey with EU, liberal management of internal affairs - alcohol is totally free, night clubs are full of young people, there is no intervention to gay life, women and men are free to walk together, kiss each other on the streets etc.
I have been to Turkey several times and modern life in big cities like Istanbul, Ankara or Izmir is not less liberal than London or Paris: women wear short skirts, go swimming with bikinis etc. Some women wear scarves but this shows the other way of being tolerant and liberal, am I wrong?
In the rural areas though, people are more traditional and you can see more women covering their heads but that is perfectly understandable: When you go to the country sides in Britain, people become more traditional too.
I was suprised by the gay community there. Being a gay is completely legal in Turkey. There are 4 gay organizations working actively on gay rights eg: www.kaosgl.com, www.lambdaistanbul.org. There are many local gay social web sites too.
Because of the traditions, gays do not want to show their gay sides openly in the public but Turkish men like very much having sex with gays. Having sex with same sex is not perceived by them as being gay if it is kept intimate. One of my Turkish friend had told me that having same sex relation has been very wide spread for hundreds of years in this society.
My experience over there supports this too: I met so many very attractive men there (believe me if they came to Blackpool, they could earn several hundred pounds every night) but they wouldn't do it for money. They simply
liked being with men. I met some gay people over there too and I am jealous of them because they can easily flirt with so many nice men whenever they want. I went to a 4 stores gay club for instance, packed with hundreds of gays and good looking men, everything was so free: people kissing, licking and believe me even having sex on the sofas. Those horny men were trying to romance with me and at the end of the night I found myself sleeping with four of them in one gay friend's apartment. In Istanbul, there are at least 20 gay night clubs where you can find anything for your taste and all of them are full of young horny men aging between 18-28.
I am not sure whether Istanbul is the gay capital in 2010 but there are many very nice stuff to discover if you go there with no prejudice of course.