Source: Gülden Aydın, “Hermafrodit Bülent’in Çilesi” (“The Suffering of Bülent the Hermaphrodite”), Hürriyet, 23 May 2014, http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/gundem/26470090.asp
*Translator’s Note: While our project aims to offer verbatim translations of our original sources, certain linguistic differences between Turkish and English present challenges. Because Turkish does not have gender-specific pronouns and if the subject does not identify within the male-female binary, we translate the pronouns as “they.” Please note that words such as “hermaphrodite” and “dual-sexed” are direct translations of the original source, which are used for the term “intersex.”
Bülent Coşkun is a hermaphrodite (dual-sexed), who lives in Cumayeri, Düzce. They cannot go out in public. They are constantly pointed at, made fun of and constantly harassed. As if that is not enough, people want to stone and burn Bülent’s house. Bülent is a victim of hate crimes.
Bülent Coşkun (34) was almost screaming on the phone. They were saying that society was punishing them for being a dual-sexed individual and was asking assistance. When we met in Düzce town center, all eyes were immediately set on Bülent who has elements of both man and woman in their body and clothes. Cars in traffic were stopping; people were pointing, laughing and looking at the “freak.” Where Bülent was verging on tears, we were almost choking. It was impossible to sit in a café and conduct the interview there; we had to go to their cottage.
A MAN AFTER SIX SURGERIES
Bülent comes from a family of farmers. Their parents are cousins. They were born dual-sexed following the birth of their two elder sisters. Their father was determined to make Bülent into a man, so they made Bülent go through six separate and painful surgeries in which Bülent’s vagina was sealed and their urinary tract connected to the penis. However, the surgeries were not successful. They ran away after the same doctor told them that 8 more surgeries had to be performed. Bülent’s life was a living hell due to the botched surgeries performed on them until 2012. Although, they could not urinate for 15 hours, Bülent was supposedly a man.