Physical abuse of animals remains widespread, but a swelling army of animal rights activists is pushing back. Growing concern for the welfare of animals is one of the few dynamics binding Turkey’s otherwise deeply polarized society.
AMBERIN ZAMAN: ‘He who does not love animals does not love humans either.” The sentiment conveyed in a tweet by the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) Bahcelievler branch was echoed by Turkish social media accounts spanning the ideological spectrum to mark Oct. 4, World Animal Day… Sezgin Tanrikulu, a prominent member of the main opposition pro-secular Republican People’s Party, seized the occasion to press for new legislation introducing harsher penalties for cruelty to animals.
Turkey’s record on animal rights remains spotty. Local municipalities — be they pro-secular, Islamic, Nationalist or Kurdish — periodically cull strays with poisoned meat. Municipal workers in the central Anatolian province of Nevsehir provoked uproar when they were caught on camera in July bagging live canine strays and tossing them into a garbage-crushing truck.
Physical abuse of animals remains widespread, but a swelling army of animal rights activists is pushing back. Growing concern for the welfare of animals is one of the few dynamics binding Turkey’s otherwise deeply polarized society… Islamic scholars remain divided as at whether it’s acceptable to have dogs as pets. Even orthodox preachers say it’s OK as long as it’s to herd sheep or perform other utilitarian tasks.
Nihat Hatipoglu, a prominent theologian from Diyarbakir, a mainly Kurdish and deeply conservative province in the southeast, said, “Of course you can care for dogs. They are not dirty animals. There is no such thing as a dirty animal.” Speaking before a pious audience, Hatipoglu continued, “Even with pigs, it is only that you can’t consume its meat. There is no animal that is cursed in the Kingdom of God”.’ SOURCE…