- Turkey -
While residents worldwide stay at home to contain the spread of COVID-19, stray cats and dogs roam the streets looking for food and someone to show them love and compassion.
It is heartbreaking.
As many of you know, strays are one of my personal weaknesses.
On Sunday, April 5, the Interior Ministry issued a circular letter regarding the protection and feeding of stray animals.
The ministry also said shelters and dens for the animals should be disinfected.
Minister of the Interior Süleyman Soylu, ordered food and water to be left at various living environments of street animals; such as parks and gardens, and animal shelters.
Before Sunday’s ordinance Turkish citizens took to social media to speak of their horror at the thought of strays starving during this pandemic.
The New Arab published concerns from Twitter users:
· Twitter user Ozge Ozan wrote: “There are lots of cats on the side streets where there are only closed businesses. I haven’t seen food anywhere for days. The cats are running after us (looking for food). “Ozan called on Istanbul’s central Beyoglu municipality to give food to the stray cats.
· Twitter user Ebru Dogan wrote: “Dogs are especially hungry and aggressive because people can’t go out and feed them. We are feeding the cats in front of our door but we are waiting for the support of municipal teams to feed the dogs.”
· Another Twitter user wrote to Istanbul's Kadikoy municipality: "Take the cats and dogs to a shelter. We are not able to feed them all. The animals are hungry and thirsty. Nobody can go out and feed them. These are not our duties!!"
· In the southern province of Antalya, a 63-year-old retiree who has been confined to her home due to chronic illnesses called for the government to establish an emergency hotline to assist in feeding stray cats.
Daily Sabah reports that: “Stray animals in Turkey are vaccinated by local municipalities' veterinarians and are also regularly fed. Caring for needy animals is a part of the culture in Turkish society, and many citizens also contribute to looking after stray dogs and cats in their neighborhoods.”