Want to find our more about the sex scene in Istanbul?
The largest city in Turkey, Istanbul lies to the north of the country and falls in the south-eastern edge of Europe. Home to around 15 million people and entertaining a further 10 million tourists, Istanbul is the only city in the world that straddles two continents. It is a culturally rich metropolis and was the heart of ancient empires from the Roman to the Ottoman. Formerly known as Constantinople, the city is a diverse blend of East and West with rich and colourful buildings, bazaars and people. Whilst the heart of Istanbul lies firmly in its traditional Turkish roots, it is also welcoming of the modern trappings of the west. It is a fascinating place to spend time and you can find an array of diversions to entertain you, day and night.
In this guide, we take a look at the more adult side of the city.
Prostitution in Istanbul
Prostitution is legal in Turkey and brothels are licensed by the state. About a decade ago there were thousands of brothels in the country but since Recep Tayyip Erdogan came to power, first as Prime Minister in 2003 and then as President in 2014, there has been a large clamp down on prostitution. Many brothels are closing down and very few new licenses are being issued.
The Turkish government is currently a very conservative one with traditional Islamist views and policies. Since 2003, sex workers in Istanbul have been finding it harder to get legal work and there has been a shift towards street and freelance prostitution. However, sex work on the streets can be inherently dangerous and hookers face prosecution for illegal prostitution. Punishment for any of the following can result in up to four years in prison:
- Being an unregistered sex worker.
- Being a prostitute without a license.
- Being a prostitute without having a health check-up.
- Operating a brothel without a license.
Promoting prostitution is also an offence and advertising for sex services is a crime.
The prostitution industry in Turkey is a big one and is thought to generate around $4 billion in annual revenue. More than 118,000 prostitutes are thought to operate in the country with Istanbul being a more popular choice for most working girls. There is more tolerance in the city and a higher demand from Western tourists. In Istanbul, there are an estimated 3,000 prostitutes that hold official licenses. However, there are thousands more providing services illicitly.
As well as Turkish prostitutes, you can find sex workers from Eastern Europe as well as Africa throughout the city.
Istanbul Escorts Guide
A brief search online and you will uncover dozens of escort agencies for Istanbul, along with a number of websites belonging to independent escorts.
Due to the strict advertising rules in Turkey, we cannot promote these websites.
Sex in Istanbul
Whilst prostitution is legal in Istanbul, navigating safe places to find sex is important. The city has a lot of brothels and freelance prostitutes providing services in hotels and erotic massage parlours.
You can find the licensed brothels in the red light areas of Istanbul (see below).
The price for sex in any of these venues is very standard at around 40 TRY (€8.50) which is paid to the brothel owner. Girls will often ask for additional money in the room and you can pay this as you choose. If you pay well then you usually get better service but refusal to pay more can mean you get a very basic and perfunctory experience.
Also known as ‘genel ev’ (general houses), licensed brothels can be found in the red light areas of Istanbul (see below), principally Zurafa Sk. and Kadem Sk.
Prices start at around 50 TRY (€10) for quick sex and the girls will expect a tip (up to 50 TRY).
Licensed brothels tend to close at around 10pm each night and often have a small selection of women to choose from.
Entry to the areas are controlled by the authorities and only licensed hookers and male customers can enter the red light district.
Advertising laws are strict and we cannot discuss any specific info on the individual brothels available.
Swinging does take place in Istanbul but is a taboo subject and the lifestyle is not as popular. as in the rest of Europe. The government has blocked some swinging sites so it is increasingly difficult to hook up with other swinging couples. If you are trying to find local or visiting couples then your best chances of a private party are via connections made on sites like Adult Friend Finder, Fetlife or Alt.com.
Erotic Massage Parlours
There are erotic massage parlours in Istanbul, most of which will provide a happy ending and sometimes more. You can also arrange a out-call to your hotel with plenty of escorts specialising in massage services.
Most parlours around Istanbul charge around 200 TRY (€42) for a basic massage with a hand job being worth a 100 TRY tip (€21). Some places do offer full service but this is at the discretion of each masseuse and will cost you an extra 150 TRY to 200 TRY (€31 to €42).
You can find massage parlours all across Istanbul with most being situated in the European side around the li mecidiyeköy etiler gayrettepe circle. Most only have a choice of 3 or 4 women. There are some Asian salons in the eastern part of the city (Anadolu Yakası) where you can get tantric and nuru massage.
Some hotels have their own spas and salons on site but not many offer extra services.
There are no strip clubs anymore in Istanbul since the longstanding Regina Revue was closed in 2011. Formerly providing cabaret style entertainment with strip shows, the Regina Revue was the last such venue in the city.
There are places which crop up around the city that purport to offer strip entertainment but these are often notorious scams. Staffed by women who gyrate fully clothed around poles, tourists are charged exorbitantly high prices for food and drink with no flesh on show.
The closest club that offers erotic dance is Sultana’s Nights but this is not a strip club.
Street Prostitutes & Red Light Districts
The red light area of Istanbul is located in the Karaköy area of Istanbul down by the harbour. You can find many of the city’s brothels and hookers around Kadem and Zufara Street or by the Galata Bridge.
You will need to carry your passport with you at all times as the area has security who check ID. Often, the security guards will ask you to pay an entrance fee; this is not compulsory and you do not have to pay. If there are other people around then they may back down but if you are alone, you could try negotiating. At most, they will ask for around 50 TRY (€10).
You won’t find street prostitutes in this area but you can find the official brothels here.
If you feel cautious about visiting the red light district alone then you can organise a private tour with a local guide as a companion.
Transsexual prostitutes are very popular in Istanbul and the city has a high proportion of shemales providing sex for cash. Shemale street hookers charge around 200 TRY (€42) but there are some T-girls in the tranny brothels.
You should remember that street prostitution is not legal and paying for sex with an unlicensed hooker is against the law.
There are dozens of sex shops in Istanbul, all mainly supplying standard bedroom sex aids. They are popular with locals as well as tourists and are generally in quite open areas and not shady back streets.
Our pick of the best sex shops in Istanbul are:
- Spot Shop, Seyrantepe Mahallesi, Nato Cd. No:49 D:.2, 34418 Kağıthane
- Askim Sex Shop, Osmanağa Mahallesi General Asım Gündüz Caddesi No:14 Kat:2, 34714 Kadıköy
- Albeni Shop, Mecidiyeköy Mahallesi, Büyükdere Cd. No:63 D:1, 34387 Şişli
- Seks Shop, Osmanağa Mahallesi, Yoğurtçu Şükrü Sk. 47/A, 34710 Kadıköy
- Maximum Sex Shop, Merkez Mah.Marmara Cad. No:24/71, Erenler İş Merkezi 2, 34310 Avcılar
- Sex Shop, Osman Ağa Mah.Söğütlü Çeşme Cad. No: 44/1 Kadikoy
- Hayal Shop, Katip Mustafa Çelebi Mahallesi, Sıraselviler Cd. No:22, 34433 Beyoğlu
- Acil Market, Küçükbakkalköy Mahallesi Tevfik Fikret Caddesi, Deniz Sokak No:1, 34752 Ataşehir
- Taksim Erotic Shop, Tarlabaşı Bulv. No:84 Kat:2 (sofram lokantası üstü), 34435 Beyoğlu
- Simon Sex Shop, Osmanağa Mah., Yasa Cad. No:26 D:31, 34710 Kadıköy
- Avcilar Sex Shop, Merkez Mahallesi, Şamlı Sk. No:27, 34310 Avcılar
- Ago Sex Shop,Zeytinlik Mah., Fişekhane Cad. Selimbey Pasajı Carusel AVM Karşısı No:10 D:50, 34140 Bakırköy
- Erotic Ürünleri, Küçükbakkalköy Mahallesi, Atatürk Cd. 2N, 34750 Ataşehir
Featured image via Pixabay.