Sunday, 9 November 2008

The Economist: Transvestites in Turkey

by Amberin Zaman

Turkey is said to have more transvestites per head than anywhere bar Brazil. Fascination with cross-dressing dates to Ottoman times, when winsome boys dressed as girls would belly-dance for the sultan. But, just as tolerance of Christians and Kurds withered under Ataturk’s republic, so it did for transvestites and gays. The success of a few transvestite singers disguises the “general acceptance in Turkish society that we are freaks,” says Funda, a transvestite dancer. More...

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