One of Turkey’s biggest music stars has lent their weight to a campaign to prosecute two young men who chopped off the ears of a young dog in İsparta.
Calling into a live TV show, Bülent Ersoy spoke out against the teenage thugs, who posted pictures of themselves on social media posing next to the bleeding dog, while holding its ears in their hands.
Dog mutilators are “modern day terrorists”
Ersoy told viewers on the Duymayan Kalmasın show: “If I saw them, even if was going to be put to death, I would slap them. Those dogs are living souls…These [perpetrators] are the modern day’s terrorists.”
News of the barbaric incident in İsparta, western Turkey, spread internationally after Hasan Kuzu and Neşet Yaman added a series of photos of the wounded animal on their Facebook accounts. The posts have since been deleted, but not before screengrabs were captured.
According to local news reports, Kuzu and Yaman are allegedly involved in dog fights and they decided to punish one of their dogs for losing a fight. Their barbaric behaviour prompted an American, Angel Nielson, to start an online petition calling on the Mayor of İsparta to take action against the perpetrators.
Over a million people have signed petition to bring “monsters” to justice
Citing Article 8 of the Law of Protection of Animals no. 5199, Ms Nielson asked people worldwide to show their support “to ensure these monsters are brought to justice as soon as possible”. Over a million people have signed the petition since its launch last week.
İsparta locals also urged their Mayor, Yusuf Ziya Günaydın, to intervene. In a statement last week, he said: “I thank and commend the citizens for their concern”, adding that the perpetrators had, “Lost all signs of humanity with this cruel attack on a defenceless animal, for which all necessary actions are now being taken.”
Referring to law 5199 and the location of the attack, Mayor Günaydın explained these incidents fall under the jurisdiction of Turkey’s Forestry and Water Ministry. However, he promised that he would personally track the case to ensure the two men are “punished” and the “dog is returned to full health”.
Although illegal, dog fighting continues across Turkey. It is common practice for breeders to remove a dog’s ears to try to make the animal more aggressive. Most incidents go unnoticed.
The social media posts helped the police quickly locate and arrest the two suspects, which in turn generated greater media publicity.
Presenters and guests on Duymayan Kalmasın, a popular weekday show on STAR TV, were discussing the story when they received a call from a furious Bülent Ersoy, who complained the savagery should have brought about even greater condemnation.
Speaking live on air, Ms Ersoy said: “If you want to change something you must personally speak out against those who did this…I will battle to ensure these torturers are punished. I will do whatever is needed; if necessary I will march to Ankara. I will show those two cheats how ears are cut.”
Following the show, the Turkish Classical music singer announced that she had briefed her lawyers to make an official complaint on her behalf and to press for the two suspects to get the maximum punishment.