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Queer life under Erdoğan

July 8, 2024

Today, Pembe Özkan lives in Turkey. Before that she’d lived almost her entire life in Germany, where she came out and married a woman.


After divorcing her wife, Pembe returned to her home country. Now, she lives in İzmir, known as the most liberal-minded city in Turkey. That has made it something of a magnet for gay men and women, trans people and anyone else who wishes to pursue a lifestyle different from the one Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan envisions for Turkey’s people. We meet up with Pembe, who now has to brave the repressive atmosphere in Turkey.

A Report by Almut Röhrl and Simone Heyder

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DW’s on-the-ground reporters are always close to the action, be it covering international events or zooming in on some of the quirks of daily life. Camera always in hand, they report on the changes they see taking place in Germany, Europe and around the world.