Talk:Turkish bath

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It's name isn't "Turkish bath" it is "hamam"[edit]

Hamam is not Turkish culture. Hamam is an Rome culture. You can see the hamam's history. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:27, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

I agree with you, although nowadays the term hamam is basically associated with arabic and middle eastern culture. Besides, it seems to be spelled hammam, in fact. But as I stated, I also think the article should be renamed.


Obviously the term Turkish bath can also apply to the oriental hamman, not the other way around, so the suggested merger direction is absurd! Does anyone know whether there are other traditions as well? Fastifex 13:27, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

The suggested merger is not useful because it merges different types of bath, as anyone who had used them would soon realise.

The Victorian Turkish Bath (= the Irish Roman bath) uses a series of increasingly hot rooms to sweat in air which is as dry as possible—go to Harrogate or Baden-Baden; the Islamic hammam is steamy and humid because the dry air is affected by the water used to bathe onself within the hot areas—go to Paris or anywhere where there is an Islamic community; the Russian bath or banya is a hot steam bath (often erroneously called a Turkish bath in the UK)—go to Russia or New York or, if you like plastic boxes, to a health club or hotel; the sauna is initially heated with dry air, to which small quantities of water are added from time to time to give a rush of hot air—go to Scandinavia or your health club or hotel.

The Victorian Turkish Bath and the Islamic Hammam are both derived from the Roman bath which goes back at least as far as Sparta.

For a more detailed discussion, see:

Certainly the turkish bath and the hammam are one-and-the-same, at least throughout the Middle East. If the Victorian Turkish Bath is different, perhaps the present entry for "Turkish Bath" should be changed to "Victorian Turkish Bath".

I can not find any information confirming the wiki's claim of tellak prostitution, homosexuality, etc in ottoman times.


(Note to myself.) This was the merge. -- RHaworth 13:12, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

I do not see a relation![edit]

Hi there.

From my extensive studies of Turkish culture and history, I vehemently disagree with the notion of tellak homosexuality or prostitution. This article does not source any such claim and thus the homosexuality/prostitution aspect is baseless and might mislead many readers. I will remove it, the LGBT category and consequently the Gay Bathouse wikilink within 5 days (which should prove more than enough time to back up any such claims), because really, they have absolutely no relation! Furthermore, I will edit the Tellak subcategory to reflect the true nature of the position. Unless someone can provide hard facts regarding the occurance of homosexuality in ancient or contemporary hamams. In any case, I assert that the homosexuality claims are entirely false and baseless and were put there by User:Haiduc in the first place, who is a self-proclaimed homosexual paedophile (Pederasty).

Taken from an early version of his user page: "which means that I like to have anal sex with little boys. It is a time-honored tradition that was celebrated in all cultures and in all histories, and it is my mission to reflect that on Wikipedia."

I don't mean to be disrespectful, however, he has made his intentions and goals on wikipedia clear and his claims are false in regards to Turkish hamams and thus must be corrected. Fatih Kurt 14:04, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

I do not know where you got that quote but it certainly does not have anything to do with me, was not written by me, and reflects only on the person who contributed it (maybe a vandal?). I find your personal attack completely outside the spirit of this project, and while I have no interest in pursuing the matter with the authorities, as would be correct to do, I will suggest to you that mud slinging is a waste of time for you and everyone else. As for the Turks and their romance with boys, as a local informer told me in Istanbul not so long ago, "we are doctors." Where have you been? Haiduc 16:53, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
Contemporary Hammams and Homosexuality
I respect your strong feelings on this subject and appreciate your temperance of waiting 5 days before removing references. However there are independent references available as evidence of the contemporary use of some Hammams as spaces for men to have sex with men, so to say that Hammams have "absolutely no relation" to homosexuality or gay bathhouses is incorrect. Some sources below:
  1. The book "Closet Space" by Michael P. Brown (ISBN 0415187648) discusses the issue based on experience in the 1990s. Michael Brown notes that "While there were no gay clubs, organisations or bars, there was the hammam...", "It was a place where men could go to have sex with men."
  2. This article by Capital Xtra highlights the Istanbul street where a well known bathhouse attracts male sex-workers. See Xtra! for more information on the magazine.
  3. This interview with Opoth's Magazine discusses the hammam culture and the problem with rent boys (a profile of Opoth Magazine can be found here).
  4. The site (owned by Sunset Travel) notes that "In fact there are few hammams (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 or clean."
  5. For further evidence I suggest researching arrests occurring in or around hammams for "public exhibitionism," and "offenses against public morality".
Perhaps you could find some published sources to support your point of view and we can include a range of representative sources and reach a neutral point of view that is the stated aim of wikipedia? -- Ashley VH 15:24, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Editing to commence soon

I have been in contact with Professor Micheal P. Brown regarding his book "Closet Space", he has told me that he quoted that line from Professor Neil Miller's book "Out in the World". After this referral, I thus naturally inquired to Professor Miller concerning the subject and he has said he has extremely limited knowledge regarding homosexuality in Ottoman Hamams.

I have included the direct and unedited quotes below -

Professor Micheal P. Brown:


You should contact Neil Miller, who I think I was quoting, via his book 'Out in the World'. He could be reached through his publisher.

Michael Brown Associate Professor of Geography The University of Washington Box 353550 Seattle, WA USA 98195-3550 Fax: 206-543-3313

Professor Neil Miller:

Dear Fatih,

I don't know very much about hammams in the Ottomon Empire..., and I'm not sure where exactly in my book Michael Brown found that quote.

If I can help you in any other way, do let me know.

Best Wishes,

Neil Miller

Consequently, we can see that both faculty members have little or no factual knowledge concerning homosexuality in Ottoman Hamams. If two professor's (which is a role that is supposed to be the epitome of un-bias & trust) who are experts in LGBT issues don't know anything about the topic, then how can we include the material based on a few sensationalist and extremely biased articles on the internet and a biased magazine? I don't think we can, the facts simply do not support the claims.

It has indeed been 5 days since my original argument, and as promised, I will now edit out the aforementioned areas. Although widespread on the internet as rumour, Ottoman Hamams had nothing to do with homosexuality. I cannot allow for fellow readers and editors to be swayed with false information.

I'll edit out the parts concerning homosexuality now and will update the tellak portion as soon as I have time to write up an accurate paragraph depicting them... and yes, I do have credible, peer reviewed articles concerning them, so there's no need for anybody to be worried.

Sorry I made this so long.

EDIT: For those concerned, I am also going to look for related articles that claim Ottoman Hamams had homosexual behaviour present and edit the content out, based on my claims. Thank you.

Fatih Kurt 15:20, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

See comments by AshleyVH for rationale for not removing documented material of long standing in the article. Your cited correspondence is of no relevance here. Haiduc 15:50, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
Do you still intend to remove the Category:LGBT and reference to Gay bathouse in disregard of the documented use of Hammams by gay sex workers? I'm not sure how you can classify the article by journalist and author Douglas Victor Janoff, and his interviews about gay hate crimes in Turkey as "rumour" or false. Are you also convinced that there have never been arrests for "offences against public morality" due to alleged homosexual activity as a result of people meeting in Hammams? I note that much of the historical information you aim to remove has been published by Lambda, Istanbul on this website. -- Ashley VH 22:29, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Islamic tenets encouraged pious muslims to clean the entire body with water ghusl up to 5 times a day. Therefore, hammams were often built as accessories to mosques. Traditionally, the masseurs in the baths, male are called tellak in Turkish while female are called "natir", helped wash clients There is ample evidence the tellak and natir's roles was filled by adult attendants who specialize in more prosaic forms of scrubbing and massage, just like it is today. Their duties were just as washers, not as sex workers. Prostitutes on the other hand are called fahise in turkish, while a brothel is a kerhane, literally place or house of filth. It is illogical that a house of prostitution would be built as an accessory to a mosque, an Islamic house of worship. According to Islamic tenets homosexuality is a sin and homosexuals burn in hell for eternity. See relevant quran verses prphet Lut and the kutubu sitte hadith collection; he Advent of Prophet Lut(Lot): The Prophet Lut (peace be upon him) was contemporary of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him). He was a nephew and follower of the Faith of his uncle. He was the resident of Ur, an ancient town in Mesopotamia God conferred prophethood upon him. "Then the (awful) cry overtook them at the sunrise: And We utterly confounded them, and We rained upon them stones of heated clay. Lo! therein verily are portents for those who read the signs." (15:73-75)

--Kahraman 01:32, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Does anyone else think the page has drifted away from NPOV when phrases such as "homosexuals burn in hell for eternity" are included on a page not about the concept of sin or the Qur'an? I have reverted to the previous version for this reason. Anonymous user Kahraman, please note that it might be an idea to express your comments more briefly if you want them to be read. Quoting endless paragraphs from the Qur'an is not helpful or collaborative. See Wikipedia:Article development for some tips. -- Ashley VH 10:37, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

The evidence for sex does seem flimsy in the extreme (and while there may been some, could blown out of all proportion). At present there are no references. There are NO references given in the text.... The Dellâkname-i Dilküşâ, eighteenth century work by Dervish is unfindable for me. There is another work referenced (though not in respect of this section).... Yılmazkaya, Orhan (2005). Turkish Baths: A Light onto a Tradition and Culture. This book does suggest a bit of sex went on. But not on a scale that justify the text as it stands now. Seem to me that some people want to read this into the baths I will edit softly now ... on the lines... "some believe... " cckkab (talk) 09:09, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

Just as a matter of scholarship, which is in the interests of those on all sides of the issue, where did you actually look for the Dellâkname-i Dilküşâ? It is supposed to be in the Ottoman archives, Sulemaniye, Istanbul. Did you actually go to that library in person? I'm not doubting your scholarship. I'm just curious because "unfindable" is rather vague. Mike Hayes (talk) 06:20, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

Nor can I find anything to support the notion that in Turkish the term hamam oğlanı, 'bath boy,' is still used as a euphemism for a homosexual. However some learned native speakers of Turkish can put us on the right track cckkab (talk) 09:23, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

I have reverted your edits and added two new sources to support the text. I note that saying "there are no references" failed to recognise those references mentioned in the body of the article rather than just counting footnotes. I suggest if you raise a comment here, you allow a little more time for responses before making major changes.—Ash (talk) 09:52, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

Hi Ash, That is great you could find exact references and ISBNs. Well done.
You actually omitted - by oversight I am sure the "references/" section that I had created at the bottom of the page. I reinstated them
I also reinstated the reference of mine that you deleted.
One publisher blurb for the Book of Shehzade says “The book delves into the iove between Adam and Eve, the roots of homosexuality, the warfront between the pederasts and womanizers, bestiality. voyeurism from pimps to horny women, horny transexuais with men... in short, everything you wanten to know about sex but were afraid to ask... sorry, the explicit sexual adventures of those who experienced a myriad ways to get off”. This is not very credible for a 16/17h century book. I think there has to be a suspicion that it was heavily retranslated, reedited and reimagined for a modern audience. But there, we will let it go.
I rewrote
After the defeat and dismemberment of the Ottoman army in the early 20th century, the role of tellak boys was filled by adult attendants who that scrub and give massage.... giving reference.
“in Turkish the term hamam oğlanı, 'bath boy,' is still used as a euphemism for a homosexual.”. Maybe so.
Suppresion of bath boy = homosexual for lack of reference. Like I said earlier, let’s find authoritative Turkish speakers or sources that can justify that, as I searched, but found none
As for the image “Said to be by the Turkish poet” I reintroduced the qualification, given the lack of any precise reference for the source. I also corrected the poor formatting of the images too. (EDIT button was over text, etc).
Well done again on finding more info on those sources. More work like this is valuable. cckkab (talk) 14:10, 11 August 2009 (UTC)


Your claim that the section "Introduction of Turkish baths to Europe (The Victorian Turkish bath)" is your copyright is, I submit, ridiculous. The section in question is virtually unchanged from this state of the Turkish bath article dated 2006 May 23. That article has an extensive edit history with multiple editors.

If you really can substantiate your claim, you may do so at Wikipedia:Copyright problems but, in the mean time, any further deletion of the section will result in the article being protected. -- RHaworth 14:02, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Requested move 2007[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

HammamTurkish bath — Turkish bath is the English name and Hammam is Arabic so i think it needs to be moved to English title. —Bozaci 22:28, 21 August 2007 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's naming conventions.
  • Support Bozaci 22:32, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Support Hammam is not unknown in English; but Turkish bath is more common. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 16:40, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose - According to this google search Hammam has 3,520,000 ghits, versus 2,170,000 for Turkish. See these links, [1] & [2]. --Tλε Rαnδom Eδιτor (tαlk) 23:01, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
    Comment - Try restricting the search results to pages written in English: Turkish bath gets between three and four times as many hits as Hammam that way. -GTBacchus(talk) 03:25, 28 August 2007 (UTC)


Any additional comments:
  • Note to closing admin - There is a history at Turkish bath of a page that was merged into Hammam on July 6, 2006 (UTC). Therefore, the two page histories ought to be swapped, or the history at Turkish bath moved somewhere else in order to preserve that part of the history for GFDL reasons. -GTBacchus(talk) 05:35, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

This article has been renamed from Hammam to Turkish bath as the result of a move request. --Stemonitis 17:03, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Image removed[edit]

Tellak - Huban name.jpg

Why was this image removed? I thought it was quite useful as an illustration. Ashley VH (talk) 10:46, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Has been put back. Guss2 (talk) 11:58, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Lesbians in my hamman? It's more likely than you think.[edit]

In terms of sexual connotations the article seems only to focus on male homosexuality, but what about lesbian encounters in the hammam? To my understanding this is a common phenomenom in the history (and almost certainly also today's culture) of oriental bath houses. Maybe somebody could add some pictures!

HAMMAM and NOT Turkish Bath[edit]

Hammam is NOT a Turkish culture, it is Roman, and then the Arabs evolved it, then the Turks took it to the Third level, but a Hammam is NOT Strictly Turkish, their are Hammams in Arab cities that are older than the creation of turkey, or its Islamisation for that matter... in Cairo, Yemen, Damascus, Marrakech (which was never ruled by Turkey, if i may add...)... Arab League User (talk) 19:04, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Arab League User is right, while Turkish bath maybe Hammam, Hammam is not a Turkish bath. The same principle follows for Arab, Mughal, etc. It's a practice best defined as part of greater Islamic culture that many Muslim countries and nations adopt or create for each other. I suggest renaming the article to simply "Hammam" and paraphrasing it to a more cosmopolitan (Ummah-friendly) tone with heavy emphasis on the Turkish/Ottoman patronage of the tradition. --Humuphile (talk) 20:09, 15 October 2012 (UTC)

External link to be checked[edit]

I advised new user Hurremyamakoglu (talk · contribs) that might be an acceptable addition to this article. Instead of posting at this talk page to get agreement, the contributor has added it to the article again. I am about to move it down to the proper section, but please remove the link if you think it fails the guidelines. -- John of Reading (talk) 17:01, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

Dellâkname-i Dilküşâ, the curiously disappearing reference[edit]

The The Dellâkname-i Dilküşâ by Dervish Ismail Agha is said to be a document in the Ottoman Archives, Sülemaniye, Istanbul, and with this document as a reference it was formerly stated in this article that, "Traditionally, the masseurs in the baths, tellak in Turkish, were young boys, helping the men in washing their bodies. Their duties were not just washers, but also sex workers. We know today, by texts left by Ottoman authors, who they were, their prices, how many times they could bring their customers to orgasm, and the details of their sexual practices. The tellak system died out in the early years of the twentieth century, as a result of the increasing westernization of the Turkish Republic." User:Cckkab states that this document is "unfindable" but doesn't say where he looked. As there are numerous references to it on the web, presumably that is not where he did his research. Did he actually go to the archives in Istanbul. NPOV does not mean suppressing information because it offends one's Muslim, Roman Catholic, fundamentalist or other sensibilities. If someone invented this document, they must have been Turkish or have had an advanced knowledge of Ottoman Turkish. Communicating with English speaking scholars who have never been to Turkey hardly qualifies as conclusive research. Someone needs to do some research in Istanbul, not somewhere in Ireland (or one of the other places Gaelic is spoken). Give us a break!!!! Mike Hayes (talk) 07:09, 16 July 2011 (UTC)

And yes, as it happens, an article IN TURKISH can be found at Wikiomera It contains a fairly lengthy quotation from the source which is actually hostile to the practices discussed, as being cruel to the youths, with no interest in their personal feelings, but only the gratification of the "client." Mike Hayes (talk) 07:55, 16 July 2011 (UTC)


I have just added the section Ancient Roman bathing#Criticism dealing with how Roman thermae could be a pool of warmly kept bacteria and filth with a risk of infection. I was thinking if Turkish baths had a similar problem before modern chlorination and cheap water heating. Was the water changed often, especially in places where water had to be heated artificially? Did somebody complain? --Error (talk) 03:10, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

Adding Section on Morocco[edit]

Hi there,

I would like to add a section on public baths in Morocco to this page as part of research I have been conducting for a class. I will also add some information about bathing/public baths in the Islamic context. I hope to finish and post soon and look forward to your input!

Smithkristin6 (talk) 17:58, 5 March 2014 (UTC)smithkristin6

Go for it! Face-smile.svg Hafspajen (talk) 19:19, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

Requested move 2014[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Not moved. (non-admin closure) walk victor falk talk 06:31, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Turkish bathHamman – Hamman is the proper name and the article is predominantly about Ḥammāns also the fact the word is Arabic is not an issue as we call a Jewish bath (which doesn't even exist as a REDIRECT but can be found on Google search) a Mikveh here and Mikveh is certainly not an English word. (talk) 18:05, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

  • Support - as nominator my reason is in the nomination. The Random Editor and Humuphile were supportive of this naming. (talk) 18:05, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose - WP:COMMONNAME. Based on Google Books non-usage I doubt almost anyone has heard of a Hamman. In ictu oculi (talk) 23:38, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The common English term is "Turkish bath", regardless of whether it is considered Turkish or not. It looks like there's a history of disputes about the precise boundary of this article's scope, and whether it should include some things that might also be called a Roman bath - but if the scope needs to be refined, that can be done by editing the page. There's no need to move it to a term not commonly used in English. (talk) 23:56, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. We do mention the naming HAMMAN in the article. But since this is the English version of the Wikipedia it should be the most common English term we use. If the word is Arabic is Jewish bath that maybe should be mentioned, by the way. True, the Mikveh is certainly not an English word, but I think it has to do with accessibility. The mikweh is a bath with religious significance, and none who is not part of that religion will be allowed in. The Turkish bath is a more generous bath, other people from other religions were tolerated, thus its popularity. I have been in a Turkish bath but never ever in a mikweh. Hafspajen (talk) 01:41, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose per In ictu oculi Nedim Ardoğa (talk) 07:57, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Apart from the fact that it's "hamam" and not "hammam", "Turkish bath" is the common name in English, which is how we title articles. The comment on Mikveh is a complete red herring, of course, as these baths are called "mikveh" in English and are almost never known as "Jewish baths" (they are of course used for ritual and not relaxation purposes). -- Necrothesp (talk) 12:50, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Word count of named topic and dictionary entries about this topic[edit]

Hammam - 156 uses

Turkish bath - 89 uses.

Why is the article topic word referenced only 57% as much as a supposed synonym for the topic? At one point in the article it makes a clear distinction between the two (cooling pool and dry versus steamy air) so they are not synonyms and so it casts doubt if all the 156 uses are correct. makes hammam the global word in English for all public bathhouses[3]and relegates Turkish bath to a specific example of hammam[4] with specific behaviors (a type of bath in which the bather sweats freely in hot dry air, is then washed, often massaged, and has a cold plunge or shower). This treatment differs from Merriam but is significant as it is where English speakers might go(including myself) to look up these topics. (talk) 22:19, 26 June 2014 (UTC)