Police sniffer dogs suffer from disorders after coup trauma
Fevzi Kızılkoyun - ANKARASniffer police dogs trained at a facility near the Special Police Forces center in Ankara, which was heavily bombed during the failed coup attempt on July 15, have begun a rehabilitation program due to disorders triggered by the trauma.
Officer Merve Hilal Aşıkdoğan told daily Hürriyet that the staff at the facility immediately went to their workplace when the police center nearby was subjected to bombs by F-16 fighter jets seized by the putschist pilots.
A total of 53 police officers were killed in the police center that night.
“A fire broke out. Everywhere was like a battleground. All the dogs under training were barking and scampering away,” Aşıkdoğan told Hürriyet, noting that one of the dogs had given birth just one day before the incident.
“We took her and its offspring to a safe spot,” she said. “All the officials stayed with the dogs all night long at the shelters to calm them down and protect them.”
Aşıkdoğan, also a vet, said the animals suffered behavioral disorders because of the high-volume explosions.
“They remained silent for the following two days. Still, they started barking when they heard the tiniest explosions,” she said. “They were displaying unexpected behaviors. They also displayed behavior disorders toward their trainers.”
Vets and trainers then launched a rehab program for the dogs. Explosive substances, narcotics and security training continued in the meantime, she said.
All dogs with disorders have completed the program, the official noted. “We had to intensify the explosive substance courses due to the rise in terrorism and the current situation. The dogs for explosive substances have achieved a great success.”
The dogs at the center are also trained on guns and ammunition, corpses, cash money, special operations, security, tea and tobacco and urban tracking.
Turkish police employ 400 dogs, most of which are trained against explosives.
Putschist soldiers launched a bloody campaign in several provinces across Turkey late on July 15, with most intense clashes and attacks taking place in Ankara.
Along with the special forces center in the Gölbaşı neighborhood of the city, putschists attacked the headquarters of the General Staff and the intelligence, bombed parliament with jet fighters and raided several other police and military facilities before the attempt was foiled by security forces and civilians hitting the streets.