Members of the Istanbul Bar Association’s Animals Right Commission found several dogs and cats slaughtered during a house inspection.
Members first became aware of the property in Gaziosmanpaşa after seeing pictures posted on Facebook. They decided to contact the people living in the house and learnt that one of the room mates was responsible for the killing and storing, yet the others were living with the dead animals as if it was normal explained Özen Baydoğan, member of the animal commission.
Members found dogs, puppies, cats and kittens with slit throats all over the house. There were frozen cadavers in the freezer, graves in the garden and some inside wardrobes. There were also meats, skins and guts in garbage bags.
‘It was like a warzone,’ said Baydoğan while describing the rotting remains and the smell of blood.
“There were several bodies of animals – some complete corpses and some that were cut into pieces. There was even a deep frozen cat. When the meat had been cut away, the bodies were buried in the garden.
“The people that had been killing the animals had done it on such a large scale that there wasn’t even enough room in the refrigerators. They had even put some of the bodies salted or smoked in the wardrobe.”
They reported the case to the police and are still waiting for it to be transferred to the prosecutor’s office.
“In our country unfortunately animals are not considered as ‘living’ but as ‘goods.’ For this reason, animal rape has never been considered a crime until to date, for example. So we are trying to get results with insufficient laws,” Baydoğan said.
The few people charged for animal cruelty were in fact charged with ‘damage to property’, for which the punishment is just a fine.
Animal lovers have been urging the government to establish tougher laws and create much needed animal shelters.
The İstanbul Bar Association’s Animal Rights Commission proposed a bill to add animal abuse to the Turkish Penal Code and make crimes against defenceless animals punishable with jail time.
The bill also proposes banning animal abusers from working with children in schools, cafeterias, hospitals and other facilities.
“Torturing animals is a psychological disorder. We know such habits will not disappear easily even though abusers could be jailed for three or more years.
“These people are inclined to reoffend when they are out, so they should be kept away from environments with children, such as schools, playgrounds and school services.
“These people may abuse children, who are unable to protect themselves, just like innocents animals, too.” told Hülya Yalçın, head of the İstanbul Bar Association’s Animal Rights Commission, to the Sunday’s Zaman.