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but same-sex couples are not given the same legal protections available to opposite-sex couples.

Transsexuals have been allowed to change their legal gender since 1988.

In the 1980s, the national government, whether democratically elected or as a result of a coup d'état, opposed the existence of a visible LGBT community, especially within the political context.

The crackdown on prostitution may have been used as pretext for harassment of gay and transgender people.

However, many gay and bisexual men who lived during this period have since said in interviews that they felt pressured, by social attitudes and government policy, to remain in the closet about their sexual identity.[2] In the 1980s, the Radical Democratic Green Party expressed support for gay rights, including the work of a group of transgender people to protest police brutality.

However, it was not until the 1990s that many members of the LGBT community in Turkey began to organize on behalf of their human rights.

Public opinion on homosexuality has generally been conservative, and LGBT people have been widely reported to experience discrimination, harassment and even violence in recent years.

In 1993, Lambda Istanbul was created to campaign on behalf of LGBT rights in Turkey.

In 1994, the Freedom and Solidarity Party banned discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity within the party and nominated Demet Demir, a leading voice of the community, to successfully become the first transgender candidate for the local council elections in Istanbul.

In 1993, organizers were denied permission to hold a LGBT pride parade.

Some openly gay people were able to be successful in the 1980s.

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Murathan Mungan has been openly gay throughout his professional life as a successful poet and writer.