Activists submit signatures to ban dolphin parks in Turkey
A dolphin jumps off New Zealand in this file photo. Activists collect 40,000 signatures for release of dolphins in Turkey’s dolphin parks.Turkish writer Buket Uzuner will submit 40,000 signatures collected via change.org, campaigning against dolphin parks, to the local governor of the resort town Bodrum on June 20.
Buket Uzuner and the Freedom for Dolphins Platform will meet Bodrum Mayor Mehmet Kocadon on June 20, at 1:00 p.m. where they will submit the collected signatures. The group will recall their demands for the protection of the captive dolphins and other marine mammals held at Bodrum Dolphin Park, as well as the closure of the dolphinarium.
After the meeting, the group will read a press statement in Bodrum’s Municipality Square. Uzuner is also set to meet Mehmet Gödekmerdan, the district governor of Bodrum.
On June 13, an article that called for the banning of dolphin parks and animal circuses was removed from a draft law by a deputy of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Turkey’s Environment Commission approved the first part of a draft on the law on the protection of animals during a gathering on June 11.
The AKP’s Adıyaman deputy Mehmet Metiner said in his notice that dolphin parks “allow children to love animals and develop an environmentalist point of view.”
Recalling that there are nine dolphin parks in Turkey, Metiner said: “Apart from contributing to our country’s economy, these parks have significant social and cultural roles. They contribute to the rehabilitation of disabled children without charging the families with the social responsibility project.
They also introduce children, who come from orphanages, or other schools, to a love for animals; and the children also gain an environmentalist point of view and have the chance to learn about sea creatures from a closer perspective,” said Metiner in his notice demanding the removal of the ban on animal circuses and dolphin parks.
The article was removed from the draft law upon Metiner’s notice. The dolphin parks are strongly criticized by animal rights activists for their grave effects on animals.