Posted by The Boss
Zeki Ayhan set out on this long road with a vision; to give Istanbul the adult venue it was longing for.
Following many trips across Europe, studying the world of strip-tease, cabaret and adult entertainment, Ayhan returned to Istanbul and began shaping the idea in his head…
When 1987 arrived, it was time to make it happen. Ayhan, then working as a manager and accountant at the now ceased Parisien, took over a disco across the road called Regina. The two storey venue’s lower floor still served as a the city’s hippest disco for a few more years, before tens of other venues popped up all over Istanbul. But the upper floor was turned into Regina Revue, with influences from Paris’s Crazy Horse and some of Ayhan’s own ideas thrown in for authenticity.
Early on, the shows were performed by English dancers. It was an adventure for them as well, as the Turkey was mostly distant to the outside world. Regina’s dancers brought liberal values and a notion of freedom to Istanbul’s uptight entertainment scene. Local and foreign guests were turning out in numbers by the early 1990’s. The English contingency was replaced by mostly Hungarian girls, and now from other ex-Soviet countries. “Mr Zeki”, as the girls call him, doesn’t differentiate from one nation to another, and is welcoming applicants from all nations.
Many local and global famous faces turned up at Regina since then, which has built up a reputation as a high quality strip-tease venue in a non-adult entertainment friendly country. Regina continued to be a pillar in Istanbul’s nightlife, and we all have Mr Zeki to thank for that.
After a curtain-call for Regina in Istanbul in late 2010, a two-year break ensued. But now, a re-opening in Istanbul, Northern Turkey is imminent, planned for August 2012. Regina Revue is destined to become Istanbul’s prime strip club venue when it opens in Jasmine Court Hotel and Casino.