GAY SAUNA AND TURKISH BATHS IN ISTANBUL
Below picture is a scene from movie called "Bagno Turco"
An Italian movie by a Turkish Director, Ferzan Ozpetek
The woman speaks to her husband in the movie:
"At least I am not cheating you with other women"
The man replies: "me, neither !"
GAY TURKISH BATHS IN ISTANBUL
We are not listing most of the gay/cruisy Turkish baths here upon the requests of their owners, because they can still be closed by an obsolete law that forbids action in public places. (This law has nothing to do with the gay action specifically, and it definitely does not have any punishment for the individuals involved, but is just a reason to close the venue for a while)
So, we would recommend you to find these places by asking the other gay people that you will meet in other gay venues.
In fact there are a few hamams (Turkish baths) worth visiting for gay people, and their prices are twice more than they normally would be, just because they allow gay action. Besides, they are not very well kept and clean.
"This is about Park Hamam (changed name) along Divanyolu. I had a really bed experience there, though its now assumedly a family hamam with both men and women than being explicitly gay. it say 1.5 hours@ 60LTR when technically was 20mın MAX for a shower w. a foam rub, and 20 minutes for an oil massage. The guy who gave me a foam bath himself had a shower for 15 min, which was interesting. ........
On top of that when I tried to give feedback, the owner was defensive and vocal. I would never recommend anyone to this place though ideally its the best location in a touristy area like Sultanahmet." (15/05/2009)
Attention: This bath house is still being listed on some websites and some guide books as gay/gay friendly venue, but its has changed its name and concept totally since 2003.
REGULAR HISTORICAL TURKISH BATHS - NOT GAY
Cagaloglu Hamam (=Turkish bath) was built about 300 years ago on an area of 2834 sq.mt . It is considered the last sample of its category and the architectural design is astonishing. It is open everyday. The bathing hours for men are 07:00 - 22:00 and for women 08:00 - 20:00 hours. It also has a café as famous as itself.
Address: Prof. Kazim Ismail Gurkan Caddesi 34, Cagaloglu (Across from the Iranian Consulate) Phone: (212) 522 24 24
This hamam built in 1584 was also very popular among the Ottoman Sultans. It is considered to be one of the most important examples of 16th century Ottoman architecture.
Address: Vezirhan Caddesi 8, Cemberlitas Phone: +90(212) 520 18 50
Opening Hours: 08:00 am-10:00 pm
Address: Turnacibasi Sokak 24 Beyoglu, Istanbul +90 212 2524242
This hamam was used exclusively by men for almost 500 years. This all changed in 1963 with the addition of a small section for women. However, aside from this little addition, not much else has been altered. It was originally built in 1481 during the reign of Beyazit II and contains many pretty details, such as the intricate tile work at the entrance to the steam room in the men's section. One major feature here are the marble slabs where bathers can be massaged in semi-privacy rather than on the heated central navel stone. The admission price includes a full service, including massage. Admission is about 20 Euro
WHAT IS A HAMMAM ?
The Turkish hammam (also Turkish bath or hamam) is the Middle Eastern variant of a steam bath, which can be categorized as a wet relative of the sauna. They had played an important role in cultures of the Middle-East, serving as places of social gathering, ritual cleansing and as architectural structures, institutions, and (later) elements with special customs attached to them. Europeans learned about the Hammam via contacts with Turkey hence the European name for it: "Turkish" hammam.
Taking a Turkish bath firstly involves relaxing in a room (known as the warm room) that is heated by a continuous flow of hot dry air allowing the bather to perspire freely. Bathers may then move to an ever hotter room (known as the hot room) before splashing themselves with cold water. After performing a full body wash and receiving a massage, bathers finally retire to the cooling-room for a period of relaxation.
In Turkey, the advent of modern plumbing systems, showers, and bathtubs in homes caused the importance of hammams to fade in recent times.
A typical hammam consists of three interconnected basic rooms similar to its Roman ancestors: the sicaklik (or hararet -caldarium) which is the hot room, the warm room (tepidarium) which is the intermediate room and the sogukluk which is the cool room. The sicaklik usually has a large dome decorated with small glass windows that create a half-light; it also contains a large marble stone at the center that the customers lie on, and niches with fountains in the corners.