Head of ‘Golden Gang’ hospitalized in Turkey's Bodrum
MUĞLA – Anadolu Agency
AA photoŞenol Özbakan, a former ship skipper who lives in a minibus with 12 abandoned golden retriever and Rottweiler dogs that he adopted in the western province of Muğla’s Bodrum district, has been hospitalized.
Özbakan and his dogs, nicknamed the “Golden Gang,” have thousands of followers from Turkey and all over the world on social media.
Özbakan, 56, who recently learned that he had a lung problem and was at risk of developing cancer, has been taken under treatment at Bodrum State Hospital.
Beyond his health, however, he said he was worried about his dogs, which he said he loved like his children.
Özbakan said his daughter, who works for a company in İzmir, was taking care of his dogs at present. Stating that he could not entrust his dogs to anyone else, Özbakan said: “There are 12 of them. How can people take care of them? Doctors say I am getting better. I hope I will be better soon.”
Speaking of his ailments, Özbakan said: “I already had heart problem and it progressed. Since heart is not functioning properly, my body has edema. My legs are swelling. My daughter is taking care of my babies but she is busy, too. I need to go back to them as soon as possible.”
His daughter, Yağmur Özbakan, said her father loved the dogs like his children and that he had delayed treatment to avoid parting from them.
“My father is in hospital just because I am with the dogs. The dogs know me; they listen to my commands,” she said.
She also thanked everyone who had learned about her father’s situation on social media and had come to hospital to visit him.
Meanwhile, Bodrum State Hospital Cardiologist Yasemin Demirci said they planned to discharge Özbakan in the coming days to reunite him with his dogs.