Istanbul to have ‘world’s biggest’ shelter for strays

Istanbul to have ‘world’s biggest’ shelter for strays

Istanbul to have ‘world’s biggest’ shelter for strays

The total number of stray animals in Istanbul is around 100,000, according to Veterinary Services Chief Mehmet Ün.

Istanbul Municipality has launched plans to build a controversial natural park in the city’s periphery to shelter stray animals.

As part of the framework for a recent draft law, which has been postponed due to the protests of animal right activists, the municipality has determined two spots as potential sites to host the city’s strays. According to information provided by the Istanbul Municipality’s Veterinary Services Chief Mehmet Ün, who spoke to the state-run Anatolia news agency, there will be two giant natural parks in Istanbul. One will be located in the Kilyos area by the Black Sea Coast and another in Pendik on the Asian side. The Kilyos Natural Park will be the world’s largest animal shelter. It will be spread over a 740,000-square-meter area, with a capacity to host 20,000 animals.

“The municipality is currently taking care of 3,000 strays in its two natural parks, three rehabilitation centers and one animal hospital,” he said.

The total number of stray animals in Istanbul was around 100,000 and it was impossible to host all of them in the current facilities, according to Ün. “Therefore we are neutering and vaccinating them and returning them to the streets. Only those who are not able to carry out their lives on the streets, like the old, wounded, sick, small breed or aggressive types are hosted in shelters.”

An amendment on a law to protect animals was announced for discussion in Parliament last September and mandated that stray animals be cared for in areas of natural land defined by local municipalities until an adoption can be arranged. The draft law was deemed as “murder law” by animal activists because it foresaw that no animal should be allowed on the streets.

“They will be collected, vaccinated, fixed and taken to remote corners of the city to live in deserted areas that are referred to as Natural Parks. I don’t know where these parks are and I don’t know how we will be able to monitor the animals’ welfare there. How these animals will live or on what they will feed is a mystery,” she said.

Animals tortured in Denizli


Unidentified people have reportedly poisoned and tortured to death two stray cats and two stray dogs in the western province of Denizli.

One of the cats was determined to have bled to death after its tail was cut off, while the other was determined to have been beaten to death. Both dogs were determined to have been poisoned. Members of the local animal protection society applied to the public prosecutor’s office for the capture of those guilty. Simge Ünal, an animal rights activist, said animal abuse had recently been on the rise in the province.