Internet cafe in western Turkey risks closure over hosting stray cats
BOLU – Doğan News Agency
A municipality in the western province of Bolu has cited “having stray cats inside” as justification for issuing a closure warning to a local Internet cafe, but its owner has vowed not to throw the cats out onto the street.
“This business place should not have pets. The PlayStation and other game tools should be removed from the building because they are not mentioned in the license of the cafe. The roof has to be repaired,” read the notice given by police officers to Özkök.
Özkök has been given 15 days to meet these conditions in order to be able to reopen his cafe. If he fails to do so, the Internet cafe’s license will be revoked.
Özkök said he will meet the two criteria in the notice but vowed to continue to have the cats in the cafe.
“I’ve run this business for 15 years now and I have been feeding stray cats since then. When the weather is cold, they come inside to be warm and get food. There are up to seven of them. I have asked the municipality to build a cat house near the cafe but they have not approved. Now I’m being told to send them onto the streets, as if what I’m doing is a crime,” he said.
“I don’t earn any money through these animals. I buy food for them myself. I’ve had never had any complaints from my customers,” he added.
*CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated that the Internet cafe had already been forced to close. We apologize for the error.