HAYTAP (Animal Rights Federation in Turkey) is the first federation in Turkey which brought the associations for nature, environment and animal rights altogether in the same platform. It helps to raise public awareness for the subjects of violation of the nature and animal rights, files suits regarding current abuses, gets involved in training activities, does public relations in order to change relevant laws or makes sure the laws are applied in a better way.
HAYTAP believes that the nature and ecosystems are a whole, and therefore does not only concern about protecting cats and dogs but supports the local ecology fights for protecting nature. It also helps for international aggreements in order to protect nature as well as for creation of legal and institutional infrastructure
Umut Egitimci met with Ahmet Kemal Senpolat, HAYTAP chairman.
PlaceForPeople: What are your main goals for 2011?
Ahmet Kemal Senpolat: In 2011, our main goal is to change the Law No. 5199 and make sure it is applied correctly. We would like to provide more educational studies for students at all schools regarding the subjects of animal rights, environmental issues and nature protection as well as make these subjects as a part of educational syllabus. Regarding these matters, we want to create a more sensitive, aware and respectful community in Turkey.
PFP: Can you please tell us about your campaigns?
Ahmet Kemal Senpolat: HAYTAP have launched many campaigns in national and international platforms:
In Turkey, many cats and dogs live in the street.“One Container of Water'' campaign was about giving water to street animals during the summer times.
“Push the brakes for them” campaign was dedicated the animals killed in the traffic. We wanted to emphasize people’s legal responsibility to take care of injuried animals in case they hit them.
PFP: Do you recruit enough volunteers?
Ahmet Kemal Senpolat: HAYTAP can rely on circa 2000 volunteers. We are happy with the number of our volunteers.
PFP:Are youin touch with electedleaders?
Ahmet Kemal Senpolat: Yes, as much as possible. HAYTAP has recently met our prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and got his commitment to take action regarding the matters of animal rights.
Some congressmen have been very supportive and this is very important for us. Because we believe the environment, nature and animal rights issues have two main solutions: Law and Education. Law has to be respected and taught at schools as a part of educational syllabus in order to raise awareness.
PFP: Which online platforms are you active on?
Ahmet Kemal Senpolat: Currently, we solely communicate through our website www.haytap.org .
Internet helps us as well to find co-operation opportunities and share information. I must say that we are not really investing in a social media strategy
We realized that Facebook was not bringing what we really need.
Collaboration is key for us and hard to do on such platfoms.
PFP: Meaning you are looking forward to being an active member of PlaceForPeople?
Ahmet Kemal Senpolat: Definitely! Establishing dialogs with elected leaders while getting input and contributions from our supporters is exactly what we need. Thank you PFP!