Electric vehicles to be used instead of carriages in Princes’ Islands
Following the killing of 81 horses due to the outbreak of glanders in Büyükada, the largest of Istanbul’s nine Princes’ Islands, İstanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu said that number of horse-drawn carriages in Adalar district would be reduced and that only 35 carriages would continue to be used as “symbols” of the island.
“Starting from the summer months, public transportation (in the islands) will be made by electric vehicles. The horse-drawn carriages will be removed,” İmamoğlu said in a press conference to assess his six months in office.
“Negotiations for 35 touristic and symbolic horse-drawn carriages to be operated at the request of the islanders are proceeding. Obviously, some groups are against it,” İmamoğlu said.
“In the meantime, all the services I have just mentioned will be done by the municipality. I also personally oppose the 35-carriage process,” he added.
Around 1,500 horses are used for transportation purposes on the Princes’ Islands, where vehicular traffic is banned.
They are 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, and there are no works underway to keep the hundreds of badly treated horses healthy.
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 Municipality of Adalar, in the first nine months of 2019, 170 horses died only in Büyükada.