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(*) Istanbul : What Kind Of City We Want ?

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Istanbul is a different city...

The residents know well. Just in the middle of where the two continents meet, it differentiates itself from both the Eastern and the Western cities. It has such a standing at its unique geography that when it is necessary, it almost silently screams at the people who chose living here and says: “You must value and feel everything you see, smell and touch on this land. Here, every religion, race and sect, in fact every living…should live in peace and make Istanbul live just like the two continents’ hugging each other…” See, the animals living here are very significant at this point. The seagulls, the dolphins, the cats and dogs even the crows used to live with us on its streets, the pigeons at the mosque courtyards, the sparrows and the monuments built for them…

About 135 years ago, Edmondo de Amicis, whom most of us know as the author of “Cuore” but who is also an important travel writer, wrote a book about Istanbul. This book called Constantinopoli tells about contemporary Istanbul, its life style, buildings, women, men, ethnical and occupational groups, nature and history in the eyes of the author with an orientalist approach. It goes into detail such delicately that you almost live that era.

One of the most interesting parts of the books is “The Dogs” section in which de Amicis tells about the dogs of Istanbul. In this section, the author underlines the dogs which are unfortunately in danger today as one of the nicest aspects of Istanbul. He states that this issue should particularly be watched out and mentions in his book in this way: “Everyone knows how much the Turks love and protect dogs. I haven’t figured out yet whether the necessity to show mercy towards every living as stated in Quran or the common belief that dogs bring good luck or the Prophet’s affection towards them or the holy books’ mentioning them or the dogs that are told to be brought with Fatih Sultan Mehmet through the St Romanus gate is the reason for it. The truth is that the dogs are cherished here and many Turks bequeath large amounts for the care of dogs in their inheritance. The disturbance that was led by Sultan Abdülmecit’s sending them away to an island in the Marmara Sea is replaced by festivals when they are brought back. The government now leaves them alone in order to avoid a similar disturbance again.”

As the section goes by, we’re reading about Sultan Beyazıt’s having the collars of his hound dogs dressed up with gemstones, the dogs’ being the ultimate master of Istanbul streets contrary to the Western countries where they are forced to run away from the people and horses, and the people changing their routes in order to avoid waking the dogs cuddled up to each other. Once more we notice how dramatically today differs from those days.

We, as Animal Rights Federation (HAYTAP), are united to keep this privilege that is one of the most important and elegant characteristics of Istanbul alive. We hear Istanbul’s scream and make everyone hear it as well.

Istanbul is unique...

And now it says “Don’t destroy my diversity, don’t take it away”...For this reason, everyone should keep their end up...The dogs and cats of Istanbul should live in the neighborhoods where they have been loved and looked after for years after they are neutered and vaccinated.

They are an important and nice part of the picture. Unlike many cities, they are a part of Istanbul, a part of us…

We’ll strive to keep the dogs of Istanbul alive and fight against the brutal and destroying attempts of official bodies that they make so as to show the world that Istanbul is deprived of street animals.

In this respect, we owe it to the next generation to hand over Istanbul with its own texture, sea gulls, dolphins, cats and dogs. Istanbul should be able to open its doors to the world with its own self and diversity.

HAYTAP

Animal Rights Federation

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  •  (*) Istanbul : What Kind Of City We Want ?
  •  (*) Istanbul : What Kind Of City We Want ?
  •  (*) Istanbul : What Kind Of City We Want ?
  •  (*) Istanbul : What Kind Of City We Want ?
  •  (*) Istanbul : What Kind Of City We Want ?
  •  (*) Istanbul : What Kind Of City We Want ?
  •  (*) Istanbul : What Kind Of City We Want ?
  •  (*) Istanbul : What Kind Of City We Want ?