Prostitution in Turkey is legal and regulated. However, many local governments now have a policy of not issuing new registrations, and in some cities, such as Ankara and Bursa, have been demolished by court order. That said, state-run brothels (genelev in Turkish) are normally reserved for locals. Foreigners who visited them mention paying an extra fee, having to bring their passports and going through security screenings. The main red light area is in Karaköy district, with 20-30 girls, reportedly quite old. There are other locations in Tarlabaşı and Fatih.
Outside of these, there is some freelance prostitution on some streets and some upscale discos like Reina or Sortie. You also have hostess bars, most of which are tourist traps. You should be careful to avoid them, especially if you are not familiar with the country. These places are run by mafias who specialize in extorting money from confused tourists. They advertise cheap drinks from outside, then present you an outrageous bill that you cannot avoid to pay. Be smart, don’t follow a stranger met on the street to a bar with big neon signs.
If you are really in a desperate horny mode, you have two and a half options:
- The first one is to visit some of the bars in Aksaray with Russian/Ukrainian/Romanian hostesses and Asian Call Gril. You have to pay about 60TL entrance inclusive of one free drink. Inside, there is a small dance floor where you can chat with girls and negotiate a price. From what I could gather on internet, the price is around 100 euros for a short time, plus 50 euros for a short time hotel nearby (the girls usually refuse to accompany you to your place, it is not same as NYC Escorts). Recommended venues include Balance Disco, Serenda Hotel, Bacardi, Gold Can and Big Pub. You must be careful as this unofficial form of prostitution is illegal in Turkey. Police may raid dubious hotels from time to time.
- The second option is to take your chance with online escort service. Many people looking for paid sex in Istanbul will use services like Ela Şimşek (reachable via Facebook and Google), escortnews.eu. The price is usually between 100 euros and 300 euros. Beware of fake profiles.
- The third half option is to try a massage parlour with plus plus services. From the information I got, Relaxium Etiler is one of the very few spas offering special treatments for men in Istanbul. There was another one called Princes Spa in Osmanbey but it has closed down a couple years ago.
Prostitution in Turkey from WikipediaSex work in Turkey is regulated under article 227 of the Turkish Penal Code (Law No. 5237). Promoting sex work is punishable by two months to four years imprisonment. The passport lawforbids entry to Turkey for the purposes of sex work.
Brothels (Genelev) are legal and licensed under health laws dealing with sexually transmitted infections. Women need to be registered and acquire an ID card stating the dates of their health checks. It is mandatory for registered prostitutes to undergo regular health checks for sexually transmitted diseases. The police are allowed to check the authenticity of registered prostitutes to determine whether they have been examined properly and to ensure they see the health authorities if they don't. However men cannot register under this regulation. Most sex workers, however, are unregistered, as local governments have made it policy not to issue new registrations.
Other regulations affecting sex workers in Turkey include the Misdemeanor Law, Article 32.However the application of this law has been quite controversial. In some cities, such as Ankara and Bursa, brothels have been demolished by court order.