No transsexuals or conservatives allowed! – by Orhan Kemal Cingiz

İzmir is the third biggest city in Turkey. Its natives often believe that it is the most modern, Westernized part of the country. Yet, I have been thinking on this “modernity” aspect of the city for a long time, and have come to the conclusion that it is one of the biggest Turkish myths.

First, let me tell you a story. It happened in İzmir a few weeks ago. A few lawyers, including a friend of mine, went to a pub just to have a friendly chat. Among them was a transsexual person, who was actually a client of one of those lawyers. However, as soon as they sat down to ask for drinks, a waiter approached them and asked them to send away this transsexual person. Seeing surprised faces, he explained the reason: “Transsexuals and woman with headscarves are not allowed in this pub!” My friends, of course, felt deeply insulted and left the pub altogether.