Turkey's transgender sex workers hoping for human rights
In Beyoglu behind the trendy Istiklal street, where few tourists go there are the transgender sex workers. They are still fearful of walking around the streets of Istanbul, though their customers are from all segments of male society.
They work in brothels or on the streets not far from the trendy Istiklal and close to Gezi Park . The workers must pay a monthly rent of over 300 UK pounds to use a small shared room. They are very aware of advances in LGBT rights in Western Europe. Last year they held their first rally for transgender sex workers rights in Istanbul.
This is an area that has not been touched yet by the massive redevelopment in Istanbul. The streets are lined with old often run down buildings, many with large cracks in the walls. The streets are very narrow and hilly and vine leaves provide shade for much of them. This is not like Amsterdam's red light district, the only indication that this is not a ordinary street are the sex workers soliciting from behind wrought iron grills in the windows.