Turkey: put stray dogs down?

The Turkish government has introduced a draft law under which stray dogs will be put down if a new home isn't found for them within 30 days. It is estimated that there are four to ten million stray dogs in the country. Animal welfare organisations have been staging protests against the plan for several days now. The national press weighs in.

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Habertürk (TR) /

In a bind

In Habertürk, journalist Nagehan Alçı is torn:

“The problem is very complex. I can't be angry with those who complain about the dogs, as the animal rights activists are. But nor can I agree with those who advocate putting the dogs down. ... Put yourself in the place of those who have lost children and relatives in attacks by stray dogs, and then in that of the poor dogs who are killed before your eyes. ... Let's not be misled by the term 'put down'. Would we agree to the killing of ownerless dogs? My conscience wouldn't let me do that. But it can't go on like this either.”

Sabah (TR) /

Those who abandon their dogs also to blame

The problem came to a head during the pandemic, Sabah explains:

“Dogs bought by people to assuage their loneliness became a nuisance once it was over. The pedigree dogs that cost so much were abandoned. ... Dangerous species that couldn't survive on their own and dogs that had never harmed anyone formed packs. Then hundreds of them came to the cities in search of food. And by now they were aggressive. ... When those who saw the plight of the dogs on the streets began to feed them systematically, the number of dogs with enhanced reproductive impulses increased even more.”