“Violence Stories from Turkey” is a project by Intercultural Research Association that aims to archive and document the phenomenon of violence in Turkey; to prevent events of violence and their victims from “becoming ordinary” and “turning into statistics”; to investigate the conditions of violence in order to make future projections; and to bring together NGOs, civil society, and advocates for the defense of victims’ rights. The project publishes photographs and interviews with victims or witnesses in a simple and flexible format that allows the interviewees to express themselves.
Source: Cankız Çevik, “Cezaevinde eşcinselsen ceza da var, dayak da,” (“If you are a homosexual in prison, there is both punishment and beating,”) Türkiye’den Şiddet Hikayeleri, 12 December 2012, http://www.siddethikayeleri.com/cezaevinde-escinselsen-ceza-da-var-dayak-da/
Suzi, who was discriminated against and bullied because of his sexual orientation during his 12 years in prison, could not get a job because of his record. Suzi talks about discrimination in the prisons and his fight for equality:
You can call me Suzi. I was in prison for 12 years and got out approximately 2 and a half months ago. My crime was fraud. At that time my business went bankrupt and I, unwillingly, used fraud. I committed a crime and I deserved to go to prison. It was a lesson to me. And of course I lost everything I had during this time.
Where were you living before you went to prison?
I was in Ankara before that too. My business was here. But when I went to prison, everything fell apart. My mother passed away, my wife and I divorced, I have nobody. Two of my kids are here, the other one is in France. I am trying to start over but the state does not help at all. I had nowhere to go for 2 months, I went wherever they told me to. I am trying to find a job but nobody trusts me because of my shameful crime. Making a mistake in the past does not mean that I am going to do it again in my new job. If I thought that I would, I would not bother applying to jobs properly. I want to stay away from all of this, fit into society and I want to do something good for the people as long as my strength and age allows me to. But it never happens. Never. I went to all the state departments, I even went to the Presidential Palace today. It was around 4 PM, the police at the door said, “You are late. You cannot find any officials who can help you.” I explained my situation but he said, “You came here for nothing, if the Prime Minister cannot help you, what can these people do for you?” I am stuck. I have been staying with a transsexual friend for 10-15 days, she opened her house to me.