Dating in Türkiye

Updated 2024-03-02 20:04

Dating in Türkiye is an interesting mix of traditional customs and contemporary trends, reflecting the country's complex cultural makeup. The dating culture in Türkiye is deeply influenced by its historical roots and the values that have been passed down through generations. However, the approach to dating and relationships has also embraced modern influences.

Dating in Türkiye: What you should know

Traditionally, dating in Türkiye was very much a family affair, with arranged marriages and family approvals playing a significant role. This practice, while still prevalent in more conservative and rural areas, has seen a shift in urban centers like Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, and Western Türkiye. In these areas, young people enjoy more freedom in choosing their partners, and relationships often start in educational institutions, workplaces, or through social circles.

Unlike in many Western cultures, where casual dating is common, in Türkiye, dating often has a more serious connotation. Even in modern settings, when people date, there's an underlying expectation that the relationship might lead to marriage. This perspective influences how relationships develop and how quickly they progress.

Another distinct feature of dating in Türkiye is the strong influence of family. Even in less traditional families, the opinion of parents and close relatives often holds significant weight. Introducing a partner to family members is a step that's generally not taken lightly. In contrast, in many Western cultures, family involvement might come later in the relationship.

Public displays of affection in Türkiye, especially in smaller towns and more conservative areas, are typically more subdued compared to many Western countries. Couples might refrain from overt displays to respect social norms and avoid drawing public attention. However, in larger cities and among younger, more urbanized populations, this is changing, with couples being more open about their relationships.

The influence of technology on dating culture is also evident in Türkiye. The use of dating apps and social media platforms has increased, particularly among the younger, tech-savvy generation. These digital platforms provide a space for individuals to connect, meet new people, and start relationships, mirroring trends seen in other parts of the world. Tinder and other popular dating platforms are easily available in Türkiye.

Despite these modern influences, many aspects of traditional Turkish dating still persist. Respect, family values, and cultural adherence remain important factors. For expats dating in Türkiye, understanding and navigating these nuances – balancing the traditional with the modern – becomes a crucial aspect of their social experience.

Same-sex dating in Türkiye

Same-sex dating in Türkiye presents a unique set of challenges and considerations.

While Türkiye is a secular nation, traditional values and conservative views often prevail, especially regarding LGBTQ+ matters.

Legally, homosexuality is not criminalized in Türkiye. However, there is no specific legal protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. This legal ambiguity often translates into societal attitudes that can range from quietly conservative to overtly hostile.

In more cosmopolitan areas like Istanbul or Ankara, there is a somewhat more open attitude towards LGBTQI+ individuals, and a small but vibrant gay scene does exist. These cities host various LGBTQI+-friendly bars, clubs, and events. However, public displays of affection for same-sex couples can still attract unwanted attention and should be approached with caution.

For expats exploring same-sex dating in Türkiye, the best approach is to exercise discretion. Digital platforms and dating apps like Grindr, Hornet, and Tinder are often used by the LGBTQI+ community to connect and meet others. However, it's crucial to be aware of privacy and safety concerns while using these platforms, as there have been instances of entrapment and harassment.

Social media groups and online communities can also be valuable resources for connecting with fellow LGBTQI+ expatriates and locals. These platforms often provide a safer space to meet and interact with others who share similar experiences and challenges.


In more conservative areas, or when interacting with individuals from a more traditional background, discussing one's sexual orientation openly can be sensitive. It's recommended to gauge the environment and the people you are interacting with before discussing LGBTQ+ matters.

Safety should always be a priority. While major cities offer a degree of anonymity, caution is still advised, especially in public spaces and when meeting someone new. Unfortunately, instances of discrimination and hostility, though not widespread, do occur, and it's important to be aware of these risks.

Finding community support can be an essential aspect of navigating same-sex dating in Türkiye. In larger cities, there are NGOs and community groups that advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and provide support networks. Participating in events organized by these groups or frequenting LGBTQ+-friendly venues can be a good way to build a support system.

To sum up

It is essential for expats dating in Türkiye to understand the cultural nuances involved. While respect for traditional values is often necessary, it's also important to take into account the modern aspects of dating, especially in urban environments.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.