16 April 2014, Wednesday
Today's Zaman

Thousands march against amendment to Animal Protection Law

Read Comment
30 September 2012, Sunday /TODAY'S ZAMAN
Thousands of animal rights activists marched against a draft law on Sunday that would make changes to Turkey's Animal Protection Law No. 5199, seeking to introduce practices currently used in other countries such as collecting stray animals from the streets and euthanizing members of the “excess” population.

More than 10,000 people marched in İstanbul's Taksim neighborhood, and many others walked in 13 other cities, in protest of the planned changes. The media didn't cover the event extensively during the day, as the congress of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), also held on Sunday, stole the show, at least on television screens. Social media users, however, provided equal coverage.

Bünyamin Salman, a member of the Animal Party, said what the government is attempting is reminiscent of what the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) government did 102 years ago when it gathered up stray dogs and left them to starve to death on an island in the Marmara Sea. The pained howls of the dogs could be heard from land, according to local memory, and many disasters that hit İstanbul, including the Balkan War and a major earthquake, were blamed on the treatment of the city's dogs.

“We have lived in our cities with stray animals for centuries,” Salman said.

The thousands who gathered in Taksim, mostly in black outfits, on Sunday afternoon shared his message: Turks will not give up their stray animals to be isolated or euthanized. There were simultaneous protests in 13 other cities, although officials have mostly been silent on the matter. Photos of the crowded Taksim Square and demonstrations in other cities were posted on Twitter by participants, with two animal rights-related hashtags taking second and third place -- after the AK Party congress -- on Twitter's trending topics list for Turkey for much of the day.

In addition to ignoring demands that had been voiced by the animal rights community, such as the banning of dolphin parks or the introducing of tough rules against the breeding and selling pets, the draft introduces new practices such as isolating the city's stray animals and relaxing regulations on animal testing. Animal rights groups have labeled the proposal “the law of death.”

The draft came as a shock to the country's animal activists as it was presented to the prime minister after he and representatives of the country's major animal rights groups had met.

Officials say the animals taken off streets will be cared for at “natural life” parks, but Turkey's experience with shelters and rehabilitation centers and the sheer number of animals on the streets due to municipalities consistently ignoring laws on spaying and neutering strays make this physically impossible.

Hundreds gathered in other cities. “No to the bloody law!” read a protester's banner in Mersin. “God gave them life; only God can take it,” read another banner in Adana. “Leave strays alone,” read a banner in Bursa. In addition to these cities, there were demonstrations in İzmir; Muğla, with a separate one in Muğla's Ortaca district; Antalya, with and a second one in Antalya's Kaş district; Eskişehir; Giresun; Tekirdağ; Aydın, one in the center and one in the Kuşadası district; Samsun; Kocaeli; Çanakkale; Adapazarı; Alanya; Konya; Denizli; Bolu; Uşak; and Zonguldak.

A massive protest is being planned to be held in Ankara on Oct. 7. Four other cities -- Kocaeli, Trabzon, Kayseri and Balıkesir -- are also planning demonstrations for that date.

Parliament is due to open on Oct. 1, and the draft is expected to be among the first pieces of legislation to be discussed.

Dipankar Majumdar
please, please, please give these animals life and not death
People are stupid they do not realize everyone has a chance to live. How would they like it if we abused them in ways animals are being abused. Protect this lovely animals NOW!
Evergone has a right to lives.
Patricia Jellinghaus
Kathrin Kutzner
i hope this action would change animal's future
animal lover
Clearly the magnitude of this protest should tell you something. Open your ears, mind, and heart ... and start to behave with wisdom and compassion. LAWS MUST BE MADE WITH: WISDOM, STRENGTH, AND COMPASSION. With responsibility, respect, humility, and balance Honor, integrity, dignity, and grace. IT...
judith lustgarten
Yes we must care for animals!!! BUT people, humans... did 100 person protest for Syrian people who are slaughtered everyday by Assad and with contribution of Erdogan and his Qatarian American masters!!! I am very sad to see thousands protest for animals and not tens even care of killing humans in Sy...
Thank you for being a voice for all those innocent animals. <3
Lucilia Ferreira
I was very heartened to read about the protests in Turkey. Thank you for being a voice for all those innocent animals
Sandra Bywater-Hoather
If you want to protest about this proposed new legislation pls sign and share the petitions against it on www.change.org/ We all know this is just WRONG!!
Anne Imallover
congratulations Turkey on such a beautiful action:) I live in Poland and have never seen that huge amount of people gathered in order to protect the Animals' laws. I envy you your courage Turkey:)
Congratulations Turkey on such a fabulous action for Life! In Holland we CANNOT get get so many good people to take action for animals; our world's animals need all the friends they can get ..
Congratulations and grateful thanks for publishing this most important event! We wish the good people of Turkey, and your newspaper, every success with your wonderful endeavours to help the animals. Cheryl - and on behalf of 62 caring Australian friends
Cheryl Forrest-Smith
To leave street animals isolated to starve
Cynthia Stonall
We've been holidaying in Turkey for the last 10 years and the reason we love the resorts we visit (Kalkan and Fethiye) is because the street animals you see are cared for as much as they possibly can be by the excellent work of animal charities. It's part of our holiday in Kalkan to see the same str...
stop cruelty for animals !!!!!
azzurra di grazia
Bridgit Soriano
Yes, good for the Turkish people - I don't remember seeing such a big demo in Britain for animals, ever. I hope they win - then I can go on holiday there,and thank them personally!
Anne Graham
I heard it was more like 45000 !!!
Turkish Islamic Goverment thinks and believe dogs are dirty animal in Muslim religion and only way to KILL THEM!!! like at 1910 in a island in Istanbul name is Hayirsiz Island , 80,ooo dogS HAD BEEN LEFT THERE WITHOUT WATER, FOOD AND CARE, and they died in so much pain and it took long time,so they...
Nilgun Watson
What kind of politicans are in this country? They are scrupulous against the nature . But one day they will get the bill. They habe forgotten what is written in the holy KORAN: Sure 6/Verse 38
Carla WInkler
The Turkish people have gone up considerably in my estimations since reading about the protests against the new horrific law against animals.
h t arlidge
The measure of a civilization is how it treats its weakest members I hope turkish government follows it´s citizens and doesn´t fall back in civilization process
Gérald Hägele
All the creatures have the right to live on the planet Earth
We have to protect the wekest life in the socaity
Kerstin Eksell
On my last holiday to Turkey a stray befriended me, realising she would come into season soon , I took her to the local vet and paid for her to be splayed, for her own saftey from male dogs.... She had a beautiful temperment and believe me if i could have afforded to take her back with me i would ha...
doggy cool
Open and support animal clinics where the animals can be spayed and treated - then let them free. They deserve a life as much as we do. Don't support a government that is so barbaric. Cast your vote for a government that cares for life.
dogs they have a hart done break it they also need love
This is so awful. I have been visiting Turkey for almost 10 years now, and in the town where we stay there is a local charity doing a fantastic job of spaying and neutering stray animals, as well as regularly checking them over and treating them for illnesses etc. The improvement over the years has ...
Rosa Pietsch
Another good example of how Turkish politicians and media are....and they want to join the EU? No way! EU is for CIVILIZED people only.
Saida Bouvie
Why don't you rather kill off the despicable barbaric humans - that way the world will be less overpopulated. Leave the animals alone - they too have a right to be here.
Leslene Dunn
Protect stray animals!
Eleni Theofilidou
Stop immediately this cruelty against living creatures!!
Franz and Manuela Auberle
Terrible.....Bastarde.......never go to turkey for holidays :-(
Astrid Hobmeyr
Stop killing street dogs
Please don't go back on being humane!
janet hays
leave this alone - treat the animals with respect!
Rose Knopff
Killing is NEVER an answer on getting rid of stray animals. Neutering is the only solution. Live and let live.
It all comes down to educating the people. It is of no use, having protests, unless the population is prepared to sterilize and neuter their animals. How can you expect the Turks to understand this horrific situation thoroughly, when they don't feed or water their animals properly. The Government's...
Why don't they spay and neuter these dogs instead of putting them to death? When I saw the horrid way shopkeepers treated the poor stray dogs I was disgusted. Unless they change their attitudes I won't be returning. I'm so happy that there are good people in Turkey fighting for these dogs.
Lea Harris
i marched against to that ridicilous law.i m from Turkey..Eveybody must know that all animals have the right to live with us.i have a pet in my home,with this law,they ll also limit the animals number in homes.please support us against this decision. regards from İstanbul
Please listen to the people and stop the cruelty to animals.
carmel euwen
The Turkish government cannot quell the demonstrators. They have a strong voice and they have right on their side. Why does the government refuse to deal with the stray problem intelligently? Is it because there is nobody in government who is intelligent? They have ignored the problem for so lon...
I am against the euthanizing and isolating of streetdogs!!! They've to do something!!!
Samantha van Vliet
Dear Turkey, acknowledging the rights of animals to fair treatment is a sign of a good society, capable to take care of its citizens, big or small. You can tell the ethical development by the treatment of the voiceless (children, elderly, otherwise deprived, animals...) show heart and stand up to y...
Respect for these caring people! I demand that Turkish authorities listen to this outcry of civilization!
Jacqueline Herder
I beg of you, please consider this carefully
Greg Sherriff
I hope one day for "civil liberty" fill the areas...
Can I just point out to those who seem to have misread the article, that this has been proposed TO the Prime Minister and not a proposal created BY the Prime Minister. The proposal has been opened for discussion and I truly hope the Prime Minister listens to its people and allows the animals their r...
Lady T
BARBARIC !!! no more holiday in Turkey !!!
Monika Heuer
the people of turkey are AWESOME! XOXO
against all cruelty of the animals (dogs ) the have also richt to live plise help Lieve
lieve Van lierde
respect animals, let them live
Veronika Meyer-Zietz
This law us an outrage to humanity! There are ways to put an end to the over populated strays without sentencing them to death! This stupid law is nothing more than quick horrific way to end this problem. It's nothing more than nazi concentration camp for animals and it is a sinful, evil morally wr...
I am moved by the response of animal lovers in Turkey and I know that we have common goals in our love for animals. Together we will work towards peace for humans, animals and the planet. Stay with the movement for compassion. Compassion is the answer to the whole world. We are all connected.
The neutering program is supported strongly in the Fethiye region by a lot of hard-working volunteers including local vets and animal shelters. If the government values tourism, it will not pass this law.
Concerned in Fethiye
Turkish actuel Government is an İslamic one. They should than read better the Coran before proposing such laws!
Yasemin Baban
Hi there You cannot kill all Strays,they have a right to live,thank you Renate Samol and Family
Renate Sampl
Turkey- No chance for EU- with laws like this !! Its a shame !!!!!!
Birgit Beciri
Leave the strays alone ! NO to this new law! If you would start a program thru the veternarians offices or shelters to spay and neuter these animals, you would not have a problem like this. Death is not the answer. Even feral programs, you and the animals would be so much better off living within...
andrea gerold
These proposed changes are barbaric and not necessary. As human beings it is our job to care for these animals by Trap, Neuter and Return. The local people and indeed the many many tourists love to see these animals. The street animals all look fit and healthy and happy as opposed to the animals in ...
Susan Wilson
Esteem and respect for life!
Matthias Färber
animals deserve our love
Gail Hall
Stop treating animals so cruelly!
No to the bloody law!” “God gave them life; only God can take it,”
K.G Stikkelorum
TURKEY is only known as a touristic place and if the government does take the decision to proceed with such a decision…. TURKEY WILL NO LONGER BE A TOURISTIC PLACE… because no one will go to a country full of killers. since they think the only solution is to kill these inocent creatures that came fr...
lorati stefani
Be humans !
Nicholay Atanassov
Stop the killing !!! Animals have the right to live !!!
Ioana Lacatus
Despite all financial crisis in the world, we cannot go deeper into a moral crisis, bringing even more shame on the shameful human race by killing animals, just because they are alive and on the streets.
KUDOS to all animals rights activists, rescuers, owners, in Turkey for this MASSIVE display of unity for the NATIONAL CAUSE : animal protection...It is a GREAT EXAMPLE of determination to stand against a criminal amendment to your law for the protection of animals. The Turkish government HAS to know...
I do hope they will succeed!!!!
Do this you will lose tourism - it's the act of an uncaring barbaric society.
Has PM Erdogan lost his faith? According to the Quran(6:38) mistreating an animal is seen as among the most severe of all crimes. In fact, the Prophet, himself was saved by a cat from a poisonous snake and owned a cherished cat, Mu'izza. The passage 6:38, according to The Encyclopedia of the Qur'an,...
jane lewis
So CUP did not massacre Armenians only.Only if you could hear the howls of the massacred Armenians.
Of all the laws that needed to be changed in this country the only one that we had that was better than the rest of the world; Our animal protection rights; they want to abolish in favour of one of the worst things they do in Europe and America. İn America alone they killed 9,000,000 pets last year....
Rosemary Tramantano
NO WAY must this law be passed...it will be like going backwards 100 years instead of forwards...most municipalities ignore the neuter and release laws anyway, so will continue to ignore any new laws...they will not bother to find nice natural park areas and furnish them with kennels, clinics, staff...
There are nobody in the street when soldiers are killed...
Aren't there already laws that make it the municipalities responsibility to spay and neuter strays? Why not make authorities obey laws that already exist??? So typical here for laws to exist and no one follows them. No one wants to be bothered. How absurd. I love animals and don't want to see them s...
Animals need also a lobby! But dont forget the kids!
I have great respect for Turkish people for being sympathetic to, and loving, animals.
God gave life to these precious living creatures. He made them beutiful and wonderful. Please leave the strays alone! Don't put that guilt upon your shoulders....
Lisa Neumann
I am a dog owner and love animals. But I wonder how many of these animal rights activists have been chased by a pack of street dogs or worse yet, biten by one and had to have rabies shots. Please focus on human rights first (especially protecting children and old people from serious danger animals...
Disgusted in Ankara
the west hypocrisy and thir blasphemous propaganda policy agains the innocent 1.5 billion muslim pepols around the world who got the hard and apprehension from the evil infidels west the west and their pappet isrial,saudi,qutar where respondsible for the incident, western discrimatory disregard disr...
ahad nil
Click here to read all user comments
NATIONAL  Other Titles
Nana Zeyini dies at age of 120
Gül says talks to come with Erdoğan over presidential election
92,000 die of cancer each year in Turkey
Ministerial bureaucrats purged after being profiled by MİT
Purges in police force leading to higher crime rate
Erdoğan threatens judges, prosecutors in party group speech
Opposition leaders say PM turning Turkey into intelligence state
Opposition CHP leader likens Erdoğan to Hitler, Mussolini
Nearly 90 police officials purged in southeast Turkey
Nearly 280 police officers reassigned in four provinces
Twitter executives meet with Turkey's President Gül
Two officers arrested over Adana trucks released
AFAD: Number of Syrian refugees in Turkey tops 900,000
Bahçeli criticizes PM's attack on Constitutional Court
Murder suspect attempts suicide in prison
Homosexual prisoners in Turkey segregated for ‘protection': minister
AK Party politician sparks hatred against Hizmet movement
Reactions mount against ban on publication of ‘Risale-i Nur'
Prosecutor who stopped MİT trucks, two others reassigned
Ministry issues traffic tickets to 125 Gezi protesters in Çanakkale
Turkish gov't rules out May 1 rallies in İstanbul's Taksim Square
Turkish military says PKK kidnapped three workers
55 students from 30 countries captivate İzmir residents with poems of praise
HDP co-chair says MİT law only protects intelligence agency
Turkish Olympiad in Chicago held with impressive event