Turkish veterinarians warn naughty cats in playful election message
ISTANBULCats, who were accused of sabotaging Turkey’s local elections last year, have received a stern warning against repeating their naughty behavior before the upcoming elections from a group of humans they are very familiar with: Veterinarians.
“We warn our cat friends: Stay away from power distribution units. Otherwise we will reconsider our friendly relationship with you,” the Chamber of Veterinary Surgeons in Istanbul said, in a tongue-in-the-cheek statement on June 3.
Energy Minister Taner Yıldız had claimed in the wake of the March 30 local elections in 2014 that the culprit of controversial power blackouts during the vote-counting process was a cat that had entered a power distribution unit. “I’m not joking, my friends,” he had said, bracing to become a target of criticism and mocking on social media.
In its statement days before the June 7 general elections, the Chamber of Veterinary Surgeons satirically
addressed the naughty cats. “Yes, we chose this profession because we love you so much,” its statement said, praising various features of different feline species in Turkey, whether they are stray cats or domesticated pets.
“Still, we have to warn you: Do not do anything that would run the authorities into difficulty by causing a blackout or disappoint the millions who will vote with the hope of living together in prosperity,” the vets added. “Just stay away from power distribution units.”
After the 2014 incident, Turkey’s Warriors for Nature Association had filed a complaint against Yıldız, accusing the government of “causing the death of animals” by not implementing sufficient security measures along power distribution lines.
In April, Yıldız reassured the public that the necessary precautions to avoid any power outages during voting for the upcoming general elections had been taken.
Weeks before Yıldız’s statement, scores of provinces in Turkey had suffered a massive power cut, bringing a halt to mass transportation, hospitals and production. Authorities were unable to explain the cause of the blackout for several hours.