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Turkey: December 2010 was a busy month for animal rights activism
Compilation: Vegetarian Society of Turkey (Turkiye Vejetaryen Klubu)
11 January 2011
December 2010 proved to be a peek-season in terms of animals rights advocacy in Turkey....Only in one month there were six major events to bring attention to animal rights issues.
The first and most dramatic one was the one held by PETA on December 17th on the busy avenue of the Istanbul city center, Istaklal...Two young girls from PETA dressed in faux leopard skin were carrying signs both in English and Turkish reading “only animals wear fur”. The PETA activists encouraged passersby to say no to wearing fur...
SHKD, a Turkish registered animal welfare association working since 1998 with the purpose of persuading the central government and local authorities to solve Turkey's stray dog problem, initiated a project called “Every creature deserves Life !” For the project famous musicians and artists posed as caged animals for the well-known photographer Mehmet Turgut ...The photographs were compiled as a 2011 Calendar. The profits coming from the sale of the calenders are to be transferred to Turkey's largest Rehabilitation and Animal Shelter owned by SHKD.
A group called "Freedom to Animals Initiative" made a protest rally outside of the Medrano Circus in Istanbul on December 11th with drums and whistles. During the rally group members, who had painted their faces to resemble animal skin, poured red paint on the ground symbolizing the blood of animals who are tortured and abused in circuses. The group members clashed with the circus authorities who repeatedly asked the protesters to leave the scene. They did not comply but instead gave a press statement asking the public not to visit circuses.
The month of December marked also three other animals rights rallies protesting cruel treatment against street animals. The first took place in city of Izmir protesting the killing of a cat by a group of college students. There was another rally in Istanbul Istikal Avenue to protest the same incident. A third protest took place in Istanbul on the busy Bagdat Avenue and was organized by the group "Respect for the Right to Live".
Similar rallies have been held in Turkey 2010 and were aimed at securing a change in the country's laws that would criminalize the abuse of animals. Animals rights advocates in Turkey argue that animal abuse should be reclassified as a criminal offense rather than a misdemeanor. Under the current Animal Law No. 5199, which falls under the Law on Misdemeanors, a person abusing a stray animal receives a fine of 300 liras, but the matter is not investigated as a judicial case. More than 400.000 signatures have been collected in 2010 for the change of this law and a petition has been submitted to the government.
International Relations Officer
Vegetarian Society of Turkey (Turkiye Vejetaryen Klubu)