If you are a homosexual in prison, there is both punishment and beating

“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,

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.