An arrest and soul-searching in Turkey, after puppy is found with its legs and tail cut off
The treatment of the black puppy, which died during surgery for its horrific injuries, has triggered an outpouring of anger and has shifted the Turkish election agenda
Turkish police have arrested a man suspected of torturing a puppy by cutting off all its limbs and its tail, after shocking images emerged online of the maimed animal in a case that has outraged the country and grabbed the political agenda ahead of next week’s elections.
The puppy was found in a forest in the Sapanca district in the northwestern province of Sakarya and taken to a vet for treatment. The wounded animal died during surgery on Friday.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told an election rally in Istanbul on Sunday that police had detained a construction machine operator on Saturday in relation to the puppy’s death.
Erdogan pledged that Turkey’s animal rights laws would be amended after the June 24 vote in which he is aiming to win a second term.
My hands are shaking as I’m typing these right now. Yesterday, a puppy was found in a forest in Turkey, left to die. His legs and tail were cut off by some monster. As soon as people found him, they tried to save him but unfortunely, he passed away. ++ pic.twitter.com/IocmB4VRcJ
— Leonardo DiCaprio (@LeoDiCaprioFans) June 15, 2018
“Whether at home or on the street, we will take the law into consideration and evaluate it. This operator was arrested today. The authorities in Sapanca ordered his arrest,” he said.
“There is nothing acceptable about this, but it is very important to show this awareness.”
The incident prompted a rare show of unity among Turkey’s political parties and presidential candidates, who have been trading barbs for weeks ahead of Sunday’s parliamentary and presidential elections.
As images and videos of the puppy drew outrage on social media, both government officials and opposition politicians condemned the act and have called for stricter measures against those mistreating animals.
Animal rights groups say Turkey’s punishments for animal cruelty are too lenient. An amendment to animal rights legislation has been on the parliament’s agenda for months, but little progress has been made.
“This brutality against a small being is a painful manifestation of the loss of values in our country. I hope to God that those who hurt a small puppy find what they deserve in the afterlife,” Iyi Party leader and presidential candidate Meral Aksener said on Twitter.
“If only they would do so in this world with the correct laws as well,” she said.