This interview with Süleyman the Hose was published in the mainstream Turkish daily newspaper Hürriyet in 2005.
Source: Gülden Aydın. “Devletin polisi homoseksüelden dayak yiyor mu dedirtecektim” (“Could I let people say that the state’s police officers were beaten by a homosexual?”), Hürriyet, 30 January 2005, http://arama.hurriyet.com.tr/arsivnews.aspx?id=292556
Who does not know Beyoğlu Police Department’s Chief Police Officer Süleyman the “Hose” Ulusoy! He is a “transvestite hunter,” a “phenomenon,” and true “believer” of the state and the police department. He fought against all kind of “perverted tendencies” that can damage public morality without feeling demoralized and exhausted.
He is the first name that comes to mind when thinking about cruel politics towards homosexuals and transvestites. He is often hated. When talking about Pürtelaş Street and Ülker Street in Beyoğlu during the 1990s, he does not just talk, he goes back in time and relives it all. He retired to be the mayoral candidate of Horasan for the Justice and Development Party (AKP). But another AKP member won the election. He is now the manager of Parkada, which belongs to Bayrampaşa Municipality and is known as the place Prime Minister Erdoğan fell off a horse. He has collected all news reports about himself in six files. We first chatted a little. He is from Azap village of Horasan town in Erzurum; I went to a boarding school for four years in Erzurum. I asked him when the lovely kete (local bread) would be found outside of that city’s borders. I asked him about Hançer Barı (a folk dance from Erzurum) and the ten thousands of crows that invade Erzurum City with their voices as they descend from Kargapazarı Mountain. Mr. Süleyman called his wife and told her to bring kete immediately. Kete comes from his home and I asked him everything through our shared gusto…
In 1991, the year you became the Chief Police, what kind of a place was Beyoğlu?
When I was appointed and moved from Şanlıurfa to Istanbul, I went to Akyol Avenue through Pürtelaş Street. There were half-naked men with make up, wearing brassieres and size 45 heeled shoes. It was the first time I saw a transvestite. I was shocked. This was a strange view which is not compatible to our culture and customs. I said if my God makes me the chief officer, I will clean it here.
What did you do?
We told the transvestites, who call family men with whistles, who take male customers to their apartments every 10-15 minutes, to leave the neighborhood. I did not do anything to the transvestites who caused no trouble. I told them you can work in bars, if you want to. I am a person who likes discipline. Everyone has to follow my instructions at the place where I work.
“We may have beaten them at times”
You beat homosexuals on Istiklal Avenue with a hose and tortured them in jail.
We did not torture anyone. I can state this fearlessly and with a loud voice. Everyone should know that. Torture means questioning someone by means of physical assault to confess his/her crime. My duty is to apply law and order on the streets. A father beats his son, and a mother beats her daughter. I do not believe the people who say they don’t. We may have beaten them at times. I do not say it has not happened. I was a chief officer at Fatih Public Order Department for seven years. I questioned burglars, murderers, drug addicts. I have no record of torture in any of those cases, thank God.
You shaved their heads and got into an eye for an eye war with transvestites.
Personally I did not shave anyone’s head or cut anyone’s hair.
Did you not give an order to do so?
I did not. But I do not deny it. I forced the pimps to have their haircut flat top (crew cut), they looked ragged anyway, so that they can be recognized by the police from afar. And there was a homeless lunatic called ‘Iso’. Everyone would run away from his stench. I took him to Turkish baths and to barbers and I even cut his nails and armpit hair.
“The men who have that kind of intercourse are twenty times more despicable”
What is a transvestite, what kind of a person are they?
They are human. I have no problem with them. On the other hand, transvestites bother people the same way burglaries and drugs do. I do not say that I hate transvestites, but I am disgusted. It is abominable and creepy that a man two meters tall in women’s clothing has sexual relations with a mustached man.
What do you think about the people who have intercourse with transvestites?
They are mostly homosexuals. There are homosexuals wearing normal clothes, with moustaches, who have children at home, that go to an establishment in Aksaray. The men who have intercourse with transvestites are twenty times more despicable than them. After that they slip into bed with their wives.
You fought for a long time but could not prevent it.
It has a flare. As long as there is a buyer, the product will increase.
But there are those who have professions and do not work as sex workers.
There is one professor. Family education is important for the people who have secret compulsions. If we raise our children with freedom, we can expect everything. Our people need to stand against homosexuality together.
I heard that you beat transvestites with a hose that was the color of the soccer teams they supported and that you used a red hose as a fan of Galatasaray. What is your relation with the hose that became your name?
As if we don’t have real work to do… where did we buy these hoses? One percent of this can be true, but the remaining ninety-nine percent is fabrication. Meanwhile we made/gave a great advertisement for hose producers.
“Maybe I did not have my club with me and used a hose instead.”
Your photos with a hose were published by a magazine where I worked at the time. After that your use of the hose was recorded on camera.
That footage is a setup. Maybe there was an event and I did not have my club with me. Maybe a hose in a parking garage came handy. Is it possible to have hoses in every color? But transvestites in Beyoğlu have knives and blades. Do I tell these people to come and bash my face? They use pills and have a high pain threshold. Could I let people say that the state’s police officers were beaten by a homosexual? And because of that, make the government vulnerable?
During the early morning hours you came across a group of transvestites on the streets that lead from Istiklal Avenue to Tarlabaşı and you and the police officers under your control charged at them with hoses.
Journalists make up stories with their wide imagination. If the boat sinks, we will all go down together. There are countries where rich people can escape. Since we will stay and live here, we will look after our flag, our prayer, our morals and cultures.
The gay and lesbian initiative in Turkey called Lambda chose you as the worst man of the year in 1996.
So what? As If homosexuals run the world. People can have different beliefs and cultures, but there is only one truth.
Do you act angrily at home?
I do not beat. I shout and get angry. I also make salads. I do the dishes when my wife is not home. I prepare the children’s breakfast. I also used to cook at the police department.
“We heard that the women living in Cihangir are praying to God to bring back Süleyman the Hose!”
Streets have become unsafe. Violence has increased by 34% throughout Turkey. Why?
Crimes will increase sharply after April 1st when EU accordance laws come into effect. There will only be criminals and their lawyers on the market. The police are tied up because of the new laws. From now on, I will have to ask the judge or prosecutor before I take someone into custody. The penalty for crimes in our laws is not adequate. We always passed laws that protect the defendant and not the victim. Punishments are heavier in Europe. When you compare the states of Cavit Çağlar or Alaattin Çakıcı after being released from the prisons in Europe and here, you can see that they were miserable there, but they were very healthy here. Why release a person who commits a crime several times and who is not rehabilitated? Are we more European than the Europeans?
Can you give a specific timeline to ensure security in Beyoğlu if you were reassigned there?
There is no need to meddle. Turkey is a constitutional state. They’ll cut the heads of people who think they are kings. We have to serve without going too far and without damaging the image of the government. Crimes cannot just be prevented by the police. There are political and legal perspectives. Though many damn me, many also pray for me. I heard that the women living in Cihangir are praying, “God please bring back your servant the Hose back to Beyoğlu.”
Even transvestites, if they commit a crime or are the victims of one, know that my justice is one complete/swift. If the mayor of 69 in Fatih still mentions my name in public security meetings, I have nothing to say.
“I gave my car to be used as an unlicensed taxi when my paycheck was not enough.”
We cannot set up personal businesses because we are government officers. On the other hand my salary is enough for only 15 days. If someone knows how to do live with a police salary, he should teach us. Anyway I could not make enough money but there were some tricks that the law teaches us. When I came to Istanbul, I saw that everything is expensive. I learned about the unlicensed taxi business that the police were battling. I gave my car to someone to work as an unlicensed taxi. What can I do? I was hungry. After that I bought textiles from Sultanhamam and we converted our home to a shop. My wife was selling them to our neighbours. I have to send my children to school, otherwise they might become burglars or muggers.
“I am Süleyman the Hose”
Clean water comes from my hose, not dirty. I am not uncomfortable with this name. But I am Süleyman the Hose, not Süleyman the Embezzler. I am warm and tender person. They don’t see that from a distance. While I was walking in Beyoğlu, the manager of the shop called ‘Uki’ came out and hugged me. Apparently he had never seen me laughing. I am very emotional. I can cry to a song. I do not consume alcohol or smoke cigarettes. I do not go to bars or discos. I do not care when people say that I live like a vegetable. I am in love with my work.