THANK YOU ... Thanks to all that signed the petition :)
Turkish animal rights activists are hopeful of a securing a change in the country’s laws that would criminalize the abuse of animals after collecting a record number of signatures for a petition campaign.
The petition campaign has collected 250,000 signatures in only 55 days, higher than the total amount of signatures gathered by Greenpeace during all of its campaigns in the country, fashion designer Barbaros Şansal, one of the campaign’s supporters, said during Oct. 4 World Animal Day.
Signatures collected by nongovernmental organization Animal Right’s Platform during a sit-in led by Turkish actress Tuna Arman on Istanbul’s İstiklal Avenue were taken to the Justice Ministry’s General Directorate for Law early Monday.
The campaign, which started Aug. 15, argued that animal abuse should be reclassified as a criminal offense rather than a misdemeanor. Under current Animal Law No. 5199, which falls under the Law on Misdemeanors, a person who abuses or rapes a stray animal receives a fine of 300 liras, but the case is not investigated as a judicial case.
“My experience as we stood there gathering signatures from passersby is that those raping animals consider their acts as a natural sexual preference, not as perverseness,” Şansal said.
Speaking on the issue in the past to the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review, Arman said, “If there is a person who raped an animal in your district, your children are not in safe.” Oct. 4 is also World Children’s Day.
After presenting helping present the signature campaign to the Justice Ministry, Tuna Bayık said Justice Commission Chairman Ahmet İyimaya told him that authorities plan to work in collaboration with the group to rectify the matter.
There were protests in many parts of Turkey ahead of Animal Day, Anatolia news agency reported.
In Konak Square in the Aegean province of İzmir, activists from the Animal Rights Federation protested animal abuse with banners reading “The murderers in the air, on land and under the water are among us.”
The action was supported by the animal activists from the Mediterranean province of Antalya, who “urged deputies” to stop animal abuse.