TURKEY, the country that wants to join the EU, keeps slaughtering dogs, cast out in the depths of Istanbul’s Beykoz forest with poison frothing from their mouths.
Animal rights activists from the Animal Rights Activists Foundation, or HAYVİST, came across the dogs during a routine visit to feed and look after stray dogs in Mahmut Şevket Paşa village.
The vast number of stray animals that roam Istanbul’s streets have for decades posed great problems for municipalities, but despite efforts made by animal activists to come up with lasting and non-violent solutions, municipalities are continuing to carry out such massacres.
It was so appalling that animal rights defenders from all around the world stood up against it. Over 20 mass graves were found, and there were over 5000 dead dogs in them. It took days for all the graves to be dug and all the bodies to be exhumed. During the first days, it was understood that some dogs, including puppies, had been buried alive. Some of those puppies were rescued, others gone. The authorities were arguing that there was a rabies outbreak in Antalya so they had to kill the animals – yet many of the dogs killed were wearing ear tags indicating that they had been vaccinated against rabies. Rabies was simply a pretext.