Dolphins cause stir as animal lovers against show business

Dolphins cause stir as animal lovers against show business

KAŞ, Antalya- Doğan News Agency
Dolphins cause stir as animal lovers against show business

The members of the Freedom for Dolphins Platform gathered at the municipality to find an action plan against the use of dolphins for show purposes in the center. DHA photos

Animal lovers in Kaş, a district in Antalya province, were outraged that dolphins brought there for rehabilitation from Bodrum in Muğla province were put into a center that actually used the animals for entertainment.

Upon the complaints of animal lovers to the Prime Ministry Communication Center (BİMER), it was also determined that the center was unlicensed.

The Freedom for Dolphins Platform members, who are working to close dolphin parks in Turkey, and representatives of non-governmental organizations in Kaş gathered Dec. 22 at the Kaş Municipality to discuss the issue and find an action plan.

Kaş Mayor Abdullah Gültekin, who also attended the meeting, said no one had applied to the municipality to get a license for the center. The Kaş Tourism and Promotional Association Chairman Mustafa Eriş said the association would provide support for the closure of the dolphin center.
Ozan Veryeri, who represented the Underwater Research Association (SAD) that carries out research and rehabilitation work on sea mammals like dolphins and Mediterranean seals, said the mammals died when they were put in a cage.

Discussion ended in police station

Erhan Sarıcaoğlu from Whale Company, which operates the dolphin show center in Kaş, said dolphin parks are important in terms of tourism. “We believe that this park would make contributions to Kaş’s tourism.”

After his speech, Sarıcaoğlu entered a discussion with Freedom for Dolphins Platform member Nichola Champan, who took his photos without permission. When Sarıcaoğlu called the police, they took Champan to the Kaş Police Station. Those who participated in the meeting went to the station as well, and after waiting two hours Sarıcaoğlu withdrew his complaint.

Center was inspected last month

In the meantime, BİMER and the Kaş Directorate of Food, Agriculture and Livestock announced in a written statement that the center was inspected Nov.
14. Reports said there were four dolphins in wire cages in the center brought from Bodrum’s Güvercinlik Cove.
The statement also said the center was rented to Ukrainian Petr Karakalchev on behalf of Whale Company to serve as a dolphin and seal show center but the center did not have a work permit.
As a result, Kaş Environmental Platform member Gökhan Türe said the platform will continue to follow the issue closely until the center is closed down.