Thousands rally in Istanbul against proposed culling law

Thousands rally in Istanbul against proposed culling law

Thousands rally in Istanbul against proposed culling law

Approximately 5,000 animal rights defenders from across Türkiye gathered in Istanbul for a rally against a proposed law to euthanize stray dogs that are not adopted within 30 days of being captured.

The demonstrators, including notable figures like singer Ebru Polat, presenter Seren Serengil and actress Begüm Kütük gathered in Yenikapı Event Center in the Fatih district and protested the draft law with chants advocating for the freedom of humans, animals, nature and the Earth.

The rally, which lasted for four hours, featured banners with messages such as “You can’t take a life you don’t give,” “Don’t kill, live and let live” and “The only remedy is sterilization.”

Protesters chanted slogans like “Paws can’t be killed” and “Break the cages, freedom for animals.”

Participants included Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul Provincial Chairman Özgür Çelik, Türkiye Labor Party (TİP) MP Sera Kadıgil, members of the Istanbul Bar Association Animal Rights Center and the members of the Association of Independent Veterinarians. They voiced their opposition to the proposal, arguing that regulations to collect and euthanize stray dogs are against the animals’ natural right to life.

The rally emphasized that the solution for stray animals lies in the implementation of the existing animal rights law, which focuses on sterilization, vaccination and treatment.

Animal rights advocate Ali Toroz, speaking on behalf of the group, argued that the planned regulation is a threat to animals, using isolated incidents as unjustified reasons for culling.

“They highlighted sad and isolated incidents. They used it as a justification. However, when we looked closely, we saw that all of them were preventable. Dogs cannot be demonized, culled or killed over these isolated incidents.”

Similar protests were held simultaneously in different cities, uniting voices against the proposed amendment.