Woman attacked for feeding stray animals in Turkey’s Manisa
An animal protection official was attacked for feeding stray animals in the Aegean province of Manisa’s Yunusemre district on Dec. 16.
Cemile Öztürk, 50, who is a member of the Manisa Animal Protection Association and a volunteer helping animals for the Yunusemre Municipality, had gone outside to feed stray dogs at around 8:00 p.m.
But while she was filling the food bowls, Öztürk was attacked by a man on a motorbike.
“While I was feeding the dogs, someone on a motorcycle approached me. Two of the dogs barked and walked up to the man. He started swearing. I then told him to not swear and said I would inform the police of his number plate and complain about him. ‘The animals did not do anything to you,’ I told him,” she said in her testimony.
Öztürk said the attacker left after seeing her neighbors coming to rescue her.
“He said the animals were here because of me. And then he attacked me. He took my phone and threw it away. He grabbed me by the throat and lifted me up. He hit my head against the wall. He punched me and dragged me by my hair. My neighbors came after hearing my screams. When he saw the neighbors coming, the attacker then escaped with his motorcycle,” she added.
Öztürk filed a complaint against the attacker after getting a doctor’s report that she was beaten.
“These people’s fear overrides the lives of animals. I think these people are miserable. I will continue to feed the animals. The animals have no one but us. I do not feed them anywhere. As an animal protector, I feed in places the municipality has designated for them. I am traumatized by what I experienced,” she said.