Turkish teenager fined 2,202 liras over photo of cat with eyes gouged out
SAKARYAA 16-year-old girl in the northwestern province of Sakarya’s Adapazarı district, who had shared on social media photographs of a cat with eyes gouged out, has been fined 2,202 Turkish Liras by the authorities.
The girl, identified only as Suda A., had shared on Aug. 22 a photograph of a cat with eyes gouged out along with a statement: “What I like the most.”
It was not indicated on the photograph whether the girl had downloaded the picture from the internet or had hurt the animal herself. But after the post stirred outrage among animal lovers on social media, Suda A. shut down her account.
The fine was imposed in line with a law from the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs’ general directorate for nature conservation, which states that “as long as animals are alive, apart from medical purposes, their organs or tissues, in whole or partially, cannot be taken out or damaged.”
Sakarya Governor İrfan Balkanlıoğlu posted a tweet condemning the incident on Aug. 24.
“In the past few days, a picture of a cat exposed to torture was posted on social media. This post caused justified reactions in the public and also saddened us deeply, just like every human with a conscience,” Balkanlıoğlu stated, adding that he himself looks after two cats and a dog.
“I believe that animals have the right to live as much as we do. I have no doubt that the most serious punishments within the legal framework … will be given to those responsible for this incident. Our police forces are carrying out the necessary investigations. Along with our public prosecutor, I, as the province’s governor, will closely monitor this issue,” he added.
The Forestry Ministry also issued a statement after the controversial post.
“Our ministry has been continuing its works speeding up the efforts on protection of animal rights, ensuring that animals see fair treatment and every kind of unjust treatment is prevented. We expect all our citizens to show the utmost sensitivity in the issue of protection of animals and thank those who show such sensitivity,” it said.