Turkish police set up new division to track animal cruelty online
Fevzi Kızılkoyun – ANKARA
Turkish police have set up 11 new divisions in the department of cyber-crime, with one tracking cases of violence against animals online.
The division is in charge of determining social media accounts and users releasing and spreading images of violence against animals, in which the actual perpetuators of the crimes are also identified.
The remaining 10 divisions investigate a series of other cases related to “information systems, drugs, sales of weapons, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [ISIL], the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization [FETÖ], the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party [PKK], insults against state officials, insults against the Turkish public and religious values, escort services, illegal betting, and the use of obscene language while cheering at sports events.”
Police officers in the new team are set to monitor social media accounts and various websites to determine the groups of people undertaking the illegal activities. The online tracking system is a first for cases of animal abuse.
The newly established divisions have so far prepared 2,441 research reports and shared them with relevant authorities for further analyses.
Turkey’s Criminal Code hands down between four months and three years in jail for those found guilty of torturing or killing animals, but only if the animals have an owner. However, the Justice Ministry is currently working on a new regulation to widen the scope of this law to also cover unattended animals.