Electric cars to replace carriages on Princes’ Islands
Following the killing of 81 horses due to an outbreak of glanders on Dec. 19 in Büyükada, the largest of Istanbul’s nine Princes’ Islands, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality has decided to buy 277 registered horse-drawn carriage plates and the horses in Adalar district.
The municipality has determined that an average of 400 horses die each year and the average horse life of 20-25 years fell to two years due to horse-drawn carriages used in transportation.
Under the unanimous decision by the Municipality Assembly on Jan. 16, 300,000 Turkish Liras ($51,000) will be paid per registered carriage plate and 4,000 Turkish Lira ($680) for each horse.
The municipality will pay approximately 90 million liras ($15,3 million) for 277 registered carriage plates and horses.
Transportation service in Adalar district will be provided by the number of electric vehicles determined by UKOME (Transportation Coordination Center).
Speaking after the decision to the Turkish service of Russian state-run Sputnik news, Hıdır Ünal, the chairman of the Chamber of Carriages, said each plate owner or one person from each family was told that the carriages would be hired by the municipality subsidiaries.
“They said horse-drawn carriage workers would be hired by İSPARK, the municipality’s parking lot operator,” Ünal added.
On Dec. 20, the Istanbul Governor’s Office announced its decision to prohibit the use of horse carriages for three months.
Around 1,500 horses were used for transportation purposes on the Princes’ Islands, where vehicular traffic is banned.
They were particularly popular among day-tripping tourists visiting the island.
Despite the widely condemned poor conditions of the horses on Büyükada, there are no treatment centers on the island.
The Animal Rights Watch Committee (HAKİM) issued a report in 2017 about the state of horses used with carriages in Turkey, stating that 1,540 horses are being worked on 272 carriages on the Princes’ Islands, 230 of which are on Büyükada.
Some 400 horses die due to accidents or squalid conditions every year, the report stated. Also, according to the records of the Adalar Municipality, in the first nine months of 2019, 170 horses died only on Büyükada.