FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1) What is HAYTAP? What does it aim to achieve?
Before it became an officially recognised legal entity, HAYTAP was an online portal where animal rights activists could come together. The establishment and institutionalisation of HAYTAP started in 2006 and in 2008 it was acknowledged as a legal entity by the Istanbul Governorship and named HAYTAP Animal Rights Federation.
It aims to provide an overall platform for all animal rights activists in Turkey as a federation and as a civil rights movement. HAYTAP belongs to everyone, is of everyone. Its name stands for coalition of forces. After many efforts and hard work lasting many years, it was recognised as a legal entity in 2008 and as it harbours many regional and local associations and representatives, it has become a nationally active federation. It is therefore the only federation that has a factual and legal address and official bank accounts, one that can sue governmental institutions, can sign agreements with the government.
HAYTAP is consequently not under the monopoly of any association or foundation. We are continuously working on how best to distribute tasks among our volunteers and new members. We are in cooperation with organisations where anyone and everyone can become a member of and our main beliefs include pulling different foundations and associations together throughout Turkey (those who are not aware of each other’s activities), using announcements that have been produced from one central point, giving guidance on how to interact with public authorities, creating legal unity, using research and science based facts without getting into arguments or disputes and bringing about a common animal rights movement in Turkey. After many years of disorganised activities, we believe that it is now time to form an organised union whose voice can be heard louder.
No volunteer of HAYTAP can propose a project in which he or she will not actively be a part of.
While in 2008 our federation was founded by 5 different associations, as of March 2015 it consists of 15 member associations from many different cities and districts throughout Turkey and has many members and supporters.
2) Who can become a member of HAYTAP?
Anybody who wants to become an activist, who wants to work towards a common goal in unison without egocentric views of oneself can become a member of HAYTAP. Especially if the association or organisation in which a person is active in is also in close ties with HAYTAP or if that person has accepted the principles stated on HAYTAP’s website, we would be pleased to have that person helping us strengthen our organisation. It is important not to forget that while a single person can be defeated quiet easily and his/her beliefs can be ignored, as a strong union it becomes easier to stand tall against adversaries and form a large voting potential, as well as feel confident about our stride knowing that we are not alone in this struggle.
HAYTAP is definitely not a newspaper or a news portal. It uses its website in order to inform the public about its activities and it also serves as a teaching tool. In contrast to many other websites on the topic, our website aims to guide and educate by sharing success stories on animal rights. We aim to guide those who want to work with us and help us become a bigger federation. Our goal is not to reach out to animal lovers, but to raise informed animal rights activists, and by becoming more known and recognised, to reach out and appeal to all segments of society.
3) Where do I have to apply in order to become a member of the HAYTAP group?
Our advice for those who want to follow their heart and feel compassion towards these topics, is to first become a member of our HAYTAP facebook page and to follow the updates and news on the topic, not only from Turkey but also from around the world. If after a while, one still feels compelled to do something about the situation, it is up to that person to choose to do what he/she thinks is best in order to help those who need the help desperately.
For Haytap’s Yahoo Group membership please send an email to
bilgi @ haytap.org
4) Where can I find petition and application examples that can be sent to governmental offices?
You can find example petition and application letters under the HUKUK (=Law) section of our website www.haytap.org. (Only available in Turkish) All you have to do is find the correct example and fill in the relevant information in the blank spaces about the topic/occurrence you are writing about. If your petition is finalised successfully or you experience something extraordinary, please share these stories with one of the group members or the federation itself.
5) What do I have to do if it is a street (stray) animal is being tortured or abused?
5A) The office you need to reach out to is the Provincial/Regional Department of Environment (İl Çevre Müdürlüğü). According to law 5199 and its regulations, this office is responsible for the implementation of this particular article. Therefore it is of no use to make an official complaint with the district attorney/public prosecutor. It will only be a waste of time.
5B) According to Law no. 5199, the penalty will only be an administrative fine. This means that the accused person’s criminal record will not be affected, but it is only registered as a monetary income for the state.
5C) It is not sufficient enough to send a petition letter to the Provincial Office of Forestry and Water Affairs (Orman Su İşleri Müdürlükleri) or any other ministry. You will also certainly need to send any evidence belonging to the case as an attachment. (incl. photos, autopsy report, newspaper articles, witness reports and any other evidence)
As a federation, we stay away from individuals who encourage passive activism through collection of signatures through online sites by clicking on a certain button and thereby creating this idea that a person is being an animal rights activist and is guarding their rights with this single simple act. These individuals and actions diminish active working capacity of individuals and follow up on the ideas relating to the topic. You should opt to stay away from such actions but stick to sending faxes, writing letters, filing claims or suing related organisations. We have so far not seen a single success story that these signature/click petition actions have accomplished.
5D) If possible, try to adopt the stray animal and be his/her guardian in retrospect (through a vaccination card with an older date). In this case, you don’t have to go to the Provincial Department of Environment (İl Çevre Müdürlüğü), but you can apply to the district attorney/public prosecutor straight away. (see question no. 6)
6) What to do if the tortured/abused animal has an owner?
6A) Since the district attorney/public prosecutor is the only representative that can start a lawsuit, you will have to make an official criminal complaint with the office of the district attorney/public prosecutor.
You will once again have to include all related evidence to your official claim. Only a written claim will not prompt the prosecutor to take action. They are already quite reluctant about taking on such cases. That’s why it is important to you make sure that all the relating evidence accompanies your claim. It will also be more effective to do this with a lawyer.
6B) If the public prosecutor decides to file a case, you can be present during the law suit at the criminal court as the intervening party (next to the public prosecutor). If necessary, you can also appeal the decision taken by the court. In this case, instead of the 5199 law, the public prosecutor will start a case based on the 151/2 article of the Turkish Criminal Law on causing damage to one’s property. Sadly in this case the animal will be seen as a property and not as a living being. (this is the problem with legal classification of animals) Even though in the end the punishment will be turned into a monetary fine, this crime has a punishment of 4 months to 2 years in prison. And it is important to know that this sentencing will be included in the criminal record of the individual.
6C) If no matter what, you win this criminal case, it would be very useful if you can also pursue a financial and emotional damages indemnity case thereafter. This will serve as a real evidence for your case.
You should not be making these 2 applications just so you can rest assure in your mind and spirit. You need to follow the case to the end. It is the only way we can create similar verdicts in the future. You should have a look at the HUKUK (Law) section of this website in order to get an idea of how these petitions look like. Please pay attention to the above mentioned 2 formats carefully. (In Turkish only)
Public prosecutors will not be interested in your case because the law article no. 5199 on the protection of animals gives this responsibility to the Provincial Office of Forestry and Water Affairs (Orman Su İşleri Müdürlükleri) and district governorships.
If the mass murder of animals has been committed by an individual or a municipality, you need to establish this with evidence and facts. (Collecting evidence is the most difficult part) If necessary, you can also make a complaint of the public prosecutor for neglect of duty. Even though witness statements are often not considered solid evidence, do try to encourage prominent individuals of the area (military commandant, governor, doctor, businessman, CEO, managers etc.) to come forward as witnesses in order to ensure credibility.
7) What to do about the removal/confiscation of pet animals?
7A) No pet with an owner can be removed from the premises based on the outcome of the annual or extraordinary meetings of the apartment residents.
7B) In order for removal to take place, the complainants need to start a civil law suit and the decision for removal has to be given by this court.
7C) If the situation becomes really serious, we advise you to consult a lawyer who is professional and an expert on the topic. At the end of the day, it is your own pet that can be removed.
7D) If you have a feeling that the civil suit will go onto unexpected proportions, because 80% of apartment buildings in Turkey are illegal, you can start a suit based on contradiction. We recommend that you take this path. If you do this in cooperation with a lawyer, the case will ruin smoothly and a clear outcome can be achieved. Because the court’s verdict will be towards a reconstruction of the building according to the original deed of real estate, the residents will be likely decide not to pursue the case and drop the initial suit. They will not want to have their decorated buildings demolished and rebuilt for the sake of a dog or cat.
To watch a program on the topic on NTV channel please see the following link:
REMOVAL OF ANIMALS
8) An action taken against animals due to the fault of the governmental institutions, what can be done?
We are working on this. For these kinds of cases, a suit has to be filed with the Administrative Court. If any wilful or neglectful damage has been done to animals you own or that are in the care of any ngo or foundation by any governmental institution (municipality, provincial administration, governorship, Office of the Prime Minister etc.), an administrative suit will be litigated. However, so far this has not been tried in its full capacity. This is mainly due to a lack of evidence. It is quite uncomplicated to start a case but to finalise one is not.
9) Is HAYTAP a notification centre? Is it helpful to inform HAYTAP of any negligence or accident of an animal?
HAYTAP is definitely not a notification platform. Just like you, volunteers who work here have limited time and an even more limited budget. Even though HAYTAP will guide you to the nearest member animal rights’ organisation in your neighbourhood, it is better for you to follow the guidelines on judiciary appeals given on this website to pursue a petition or an official complaint. Due to our limited number of volunteers, it is very difficult for us to act on your behalf on every incident.
The best step that can be taken is for you to start a case, follow it through till the end and share your experiences with us so that people you’ve never met can achieve a similar outcome thanks to your help. This would be a beautiful example of growing by sharing.
However we do expect you to join us and have an active role in our activities. Please do not report a case to us assuming that it no longer has anything to do with you, that you did all you could, that a weight has been lifted off of you and that it is not your responsibility now but that of HAYTAP.
10) Can I file a criminal complaint towards a Mayor for killing animals?
First all of, one must be aware of the fact that mayors, just like members of the parliament have immunity. As long as the Interior Affairs Ministry does not give explicit permission to do so, public prosecutors cannot file a suit against mayors. We have thus far not been able to receive approval for an investigation of a mayor for killing animals either. On the other hand, if the crime was committed by a municipal employee, that person can be reported for neglect and a criminal investigation can be filed for this individual instead of the mayor. This is also the method we strongly advise.
However, you do need to have very strong evidence in order for the public prosecutor to file a suit. If your request has no proof and is only based on your beliefs and cannot be proven to be true easily, the prosecutor will drop the case due to lack of grounds for legal action. And thus will not file a criminal case.
11) Is the name HAYTAP protected against any intentions of wrong doers?
The name and logo of HAYTAP have been filed with the Turkish Patent and Brand Institution, and these have therefore been registered officially against the misuse of any wrongdoers. Only those associations and organisations who agree to be under our roof, can use our name and logo. In the long run, we aim to transform the concept of animal lover into animal rights activist and to bring together all terms and formations that are related to these under one leadership and to represent everyone who embraces these goals and stand as one, under one name, in front of the government.
12) Do present organisations and volunteers in Turkey have the capacity to end this cruelty?
It must be understood that the animal rights movement has only seriously gained momentum in the last 5-10 years and the problems so far have become complicated and hard to get out of. Even though there are many organisations focusing on the protection of the rights of animals, these organisations lack volunteers and their financial capacity is fairly small. Those who work at these organisations have a really hard time finding funds and are labelled as ‘mad, insane, crazy animal lovers’ by society, but when they face a disaster, they create an uproar, asking ‘where are these animal organisations and these animal lovers?’. But it is impossible for these few organisations to solve the animal rights problematic, that has become such a serious one over the years, without the necessary financial capability, practical solutions, team work, the help of the media or the change of their image. The problem goes so deep that it cannot be solved by organisations alone.
Many individuals who have invested large amounts of money to this cause have economically collapsed. These organisations have not been successful at activities that they needed to focus on such as lobbying, creating public opinion, build ties with officials and representatives in their local districts, whereas in developed societies
civil society organisations have always kept close ties with key figures of the government. This close relationship presents itself in the form of lobbying, persuading, sponsorship, creating public opinion, raising awareness, taking legal steps and even creating a voting potential for politicians.
Within the current system, organisations and associations have kept on being a closed box and have therefore not been able to tell their stories outside of their box or the group they have been focused on has not reached outside of their circle. In other words, it is time to end the propaganda of oneself to oneself. This is because the problem is so serious that it cannot be handled by a handful of organisations and the situation should not be owned by civil society organisations that have nothing to do with the animal rights cause.
What we always have had in our hearts looks like this; Whenever there is a rally, a protest, a celebration, a panel or a press announcement anywhere in Turkey, that we see other organisations whose main focus is not animal rights, such as AKUT Search and Rescue Association, TEMA (The Turkish Foundation for Combating Soil Erosion, for Reforestation and the Protection of Natural Habitats), LÖSEV (The Foundation for Children with Leukaemia), Çağdaş Yaşamı Destekleme Derneği (The Association for Supporting Contemporary Life) or any organisation protecting street children or even labor unions. This can be done in the form of a single pan-card, or to stand by our side during the press announcement. In return animal rights organisations will stand with these organisations during their activities so that we head towards an organised society. By showcasing mutual trust and respect of life for all, all civil society organisations will stand in front of the government as a strong unity and this collaboration will help them be taken more seriously.
If you still have not watched it, here is a short film you might like. When watching the film, find a role that you might like to fulfil.
13) Wouldn’t support from overseas be in our favour?
This question is actually related to the question above. The animal rights movement in Turkey needs to reviewed thoroughly and organisations have to end the disputes that they have with each other and within themselves in order to create a well organised union together. Unfortunately many animal rights’ organisations splinter up within themselves and this causes the number of organisations to multiply. But we believe that this sabotages any action of the animal rights movement to be heard and stands in the way of creating public awareness. The more we work together, the more we can achieve and this will quickly help change the wrong image of the ‘continuously arguing animal lover’ that people often have now. If we overcome this image problem, we would in the long term be getting all the support for all living beings. Individuals who do not get along with each other, who are divided, who are unable to show sympathy or love, and argue over the smallest issues, will not only be taken seriously overseas, but they would not even be respected by local representatives in Turkey. The long term goal is therefore to bring this movement under one roof. We believe that at this stage, this can achieved by Animal Rights Federation (HAYTAP).
Despite the fact that this organisation has not reached the official status of a federation, its genuine goal is to raise a serious and respected voice with the help of organisations and associations from almost every city in Turkey. Therefore in the long run, whether appreciated or not, the goal is to address all uninformed authorised agencies as a single civil society organisation under the roof of an official federation. Efforts are under way in order to make this come true.
14) Why doesn’t the media help bring this violence onto the agenda? Why don’t they publish photos that we are all too familiar with?
In fact, co-media has recently realised that there is a serious potential of clients (!) on this topic. Even though still not sufficient, compared with previous years, the pages reserved for such news is on the increase. As long as they have existed, reporters have always preferred to be looking out for more interesting or ‘pink’ news worthy subjects with pretty pictures in order to impress their editors and have been in steep competition with their colleagues. Unfortunately, they also consider news on animals based on their commercial worth and increase in sales of a page. The imagines you see on our website or on our facebook page should not surprise those who are not familiar with the topic. Even though this violence and cruelty happens on a daily base, animals still have no voting right or no voice that can be heard and therefore no place in the news. This is because newspaper editors still have this belief that ‘people do not want to be faced with awful images first thing in the morning’ so they choose not to publish such news. Instead they publish news about the Queen’s dog that eats 10 kilos of meat every day or print pictures of a celebrity playing with a dog bought in a pet shop smiling into the camera, or write about how a horse or a bear was a part of a circus act. But they never mention what happens backstage. This is because these individuals unfortunately, also make a living through animals indirectly. Are there no exceptions, no one who has a heart for this cause? Of course there are. But we are here discussing the general situation, the general point of view and mentality.
What we expect to see is media making news stories of the many stories and complaints we receive of abuse and violence on a daily basis. Not only that they make news of it, but that they also follow up on the news. So if the news is about a person who threw acid into the eyes of a cat, we want to see the rest of the story, to hear about how the person was caught, punished and how the government was not interested in the case, ask what the responsible agency is supposed to do but what the reality is. A newspaper reader almost never goes back to reread a story once again so it is a journalist’s responsibility to keep the news interesting and up to date, even if this takes a few months. If editors could only take responsibility in the punishment of this violence and creating public awareness on the topic. If they could forget about money and competition and simply feel the good that one feels when doing the right thing… This is where we see how media can turn into co-media, or that there is a difference between one journalist and the next!
One thing you can be sure of is that online news sites are more often followed than print media. We can therefore publish all news and related photos without any censorship and try to do what newspapers cannot do and wait for your support.
15) I’ve sent many complaints, but the governmental institutions do not take any action?
We want you to pay attention to this very important detail once again and therefore wanted to write about this subject one more time because claims are being made to the wrong departments, in the incorrect way. When things are not done properly, THESE ACTIONS ARE NOT FOLLOWED UP. It is often thought that a claim letter will activate a government employee. This is the biggest misconception.
By filing a complaint, we often opt to feel good about doing something about a situation and ease our conscience. However the key here is not to give up our struggle with bureaucracy and keep the topic hot. It is especially important to follow up on files and create serious and well written files claimed within the Provincial Department of Environment (İl Çevre Müdürlükleri), Provincial Departments of Agriculture (İl Tarım Müdürlükleri) and when necessary with the public prosecutor. Quite often these claims are even forgotten by the claimant.
It is possible to follow the outcome of your file by being persistent and investigative. It is also expected of you to include any related evidence and documents together with your claim, because of the sensitivity (!) of the subject. One is expected to put in effort so that relevant agencies can take your claim seriously and that an investigation is started on the possible suspects.
Especially websites where you click and click and those that make you feel good about clicking encourage passiveness and have the nature to prevent you from taking actual action. One needs to take real action when it comes to dealing with official departments. We achieve a lot of success through real action. These kinds of websites where you only click for a cause have never yielded any success.
Please watch this story film that HAYTAP identifies with? Think about which role you would like to fulfil.
16) Do you have example claim letters that can be filed with the public prosecutor?
Please see the section HUKUK (Law) of our website. (only in Turkish)
17) Can I file a criminal complaint with the Provincial Forestry and Water Affairs department?
As we have explained here above, for animals that have an owner (if you are the owner), you can file a claim with the public prosecutor. For all stray (street) animals, you will need to notify Provincial Department of Forestry and Water Affairs (Orman Su İşleri müdürlüğü) or the District Governorship (Kaymakamlıklar). You will however need to include all relevant evidence with your claim. This is because it is almost impossible to activate governmental organisations without proof of a crime.
18) With whom can I work together as an animal protector officer in my own town/city?
Please get in touch with relevant people in the related city through HAYTAP’s member associations weblink. Please do not forget that we are in need of many volunteers because the number of volunteers are very low. We do expect you to follow one goal and to be tolerant and open minded when a negative situation occurs and that you aim to improve the situation yourself and to form a unity with other individuals under HAYTAP’s roof in areas where there are no volunteers and become organised in these areas.
19) What can be done about the drama and cruelty that takes place in pet shops?
The Provincial Agricultural Department (İl Tarım Müdürlüğü) is responsible for pet shops. They are the only agency that is responsible for giving our permits to the inspection of such places. However, offices with this department are often quite slow in action and do not fulfil their responsibility in a clear and orderly manner. You can find example claim letters on our HUKUK (Law) page and bombard them with such letters. Since they are the only department that can fine the owners or have these shops closed, the best is to keep sending them 10-20 complaint letters, instead of waiting in silence and cursing them for their cruelty. There will have to come a day that this department can no longer ignore your letters and they will have to take action.
You can even go further and with the help of the notary you can have the pet shop examined and thereafter, make a complaint with the Provincial Department of Agricultural. You do need to follow up on your claim continuously. You will need to use some force. The responses that they usually give are very diplomatic and they never admit to any wrongdoing and claim that everything is in order. But do not let this deter you. We have seen many instances where a pet shop did not operate correctly close down thanks to such efforts by our friends.
It is a sad truth that because of the large profit margin and greed, many people with no proper background or those who only attended a simple course on the topic, are standing in line to open up a pet store. It is therefore very important to teach people around you to never buy a pet from a pet shop but from a ANIMAL SHELTER. Not only will you save money, you will be able to show the horrific drama that takes place in such shelters and by helping abandoned animals you will help erase humanity’s biggest sin!
It is also best that you view the following videos on our website; http://www.haytap.org/index.php/petshop-gercegi link
or go to www.petshopgercegi.com for more details (In Turkish only)
On TV show on the topic of the truth behind pet shops, please go to these following links:
20) Can the municipal police (Zabita) enter into my home to remove my pet animal?
The complainant needs to have a court order for this removal. There are limits to the authority of the municipal police. They can only give monetary fines for lack of hygiene or cleanliness. (you can even object to such fines in a court) Due to the high costs related to going to court, many people choose to go to the municipal police (zabita) and they in turn have a misunderstanding of their authority in such cases.
You need to show some teeth - it is sadly Turkey’s reality. Because many animal owners see themselves as oppressed and feel easily intimidated, they often act submissive and do not stand up for their rights. You need to, therefore, know your rights and stand up for these rights and tell these officials that you are aware of your rights and that you will go to the public prosecutor for their negligence or misconduct.
You also find more information our website’s HUKUK (Law) page. (In Turkish only)
Soon a book on this topic will be published. That booklet will contain all relevant information that can be useful in such instances. (Please be patient, the book is at the publisher’s)
21) Can you provide free consultation in the event of the removal of my pet animal? Can you assign me an attorney?
According to the Attorney’s act, it is forbidden to give free legal consultation or be present on your behalf in court free of charge. The information given on these pages is here to give you an overall view of the laws and their workings. Since it is forbidden to provide any services free of charge, it is also very important for you to consider hiring an experienced attorney if your dispute has reached a serious tone. The information provided with the help of example letters and claims, are there to guide you and inform you and are therefore free of charge.
However due to ethical reasons, we do expect you to use the information and knowledge you gained for your own pet animals, also for street animals, animals that have no owners and the all those poor animals in shelters. In a sense we expect these animals that have found a home, to give a scholarship, as it were, for all other animals out on the streets or in shelters. Any small deed done with the help of the information provided will eventually also greatly help these animals.
22) If someone has filed a lawsuit for the removal of my pet animal(s) from my home, what is the advice that you can provide in such instances?
22-1) During the first meeting of apartment residents, try to gain 4/5 majority and change the agreement of the apartment management committee.
22-2) If you assume that this will be impossible, you can start a suit with regard to illegal housing. Details such as having no building shelter, the balconies being added to the building, the removal of columns and supporting beams, lack of a fire escape/ladder or any details that is against the original project proposal can be used for such a law suit. You can use these facts as leverage and convince them to drop the complaint.
22-3) Another way …. if they start a law suit, you can use the Animal Protection Law article no. 5199 that stipulates that animals that need care cannot be thrown out on the streets and that there is a fine for such conduct. You need to defend this point of view in court because this law does not say that you cannot have animals at home.
22-4-) There is also an international agreement on pet animals which was signed in 2003. Not many people are aware of this agreement, not even lawyers or judges. You can find more information on this agreement on the HUKUK/MEVZUAT (Law and Legislation) page in Turkish. According this agreement signed by the President and the Prime Minister, it is forbidden to throw out pet animals out on the streets. This agreement has also been published in Turkey’s official gazette(Resmi Gazete). These kinds of international agreements have the same provision of law according to the constitution. You need to defend this agreement during the court case.
22-5) You can find all relating information and relevant articles in the following link;
22-6) As a last resource, you can make use of court decisions taken on similar cases and expert reports. We have published these on our Law (Hukuk) page as well. These decisions have also been approved by Supreme court.
You can also watch the TV shows where HAYTAP attorney Mr. Şenpolat talks about such court cases;
Special note : The question and answers regarding this question are only related to animals that are pets and thus have owners. It has therefore no use for stray/street animals. If a comfortable, well taken care animal benefits from these actions, we do expect you to act as a “Robin Hood” and help those in need. You have already saved a lot of time and money by looking up the information provided on our website, so we simply ask that you help animals in need out on the streets with the time and money you saved. We need to remember that we are not animal choosers but animal lovers.
23) This is a very difficult struggle, what will we gain from it?
The struggle that you will undertake will not only be for your own animal, but it will also be for the change in mentality in Turkey. It is best to look at it from a broader perspective and focus on similar court decisions, the Supreme Court’s advantageous verdicts and change in mentality in the long run.
Through on going struggle and push and pull, we will finally win and change many points of view and mentalities. It is allowed to import these animals, but when you take one into your home you are fined. When you leave such an animal out on the streets, they kill this creature. So there is permission for them to be imported and bred, but when it comes to dying humanely they get no permission to do so. It is also important to point this out in your claim letter.
There is a long and serious scientific article on the topic written by our attorney Ahmet Kemal Şenpolat in Istanbul Bar Association magazine. We advise you to read this article on our page on law related issues (Hukuk - only in Turkish) This article is the first and so far the only article of its kind. You can use the author’s points of view and the article itself in your claim letter.
24) What are the legal regulations in place about an animal that is being walked without a leash?
On possible dangerous situations that can occur when an animal is let loose.
ARTICLE 177. - (1) When an individual who is in care of an animal, lets that animal roam free and creates danger to other lives and health and who is negligent about taking control over such an animal, this individual will be charged with a possible prison sentence of up to 6 months and a punitive fine.
It is better to explain this article in such terms; when an animal (cat, dog, horse, donkey etc.) in your care, with or without a leash, causes damage to a third person, since you are the owner of this animal you will be held responsible. This is because you either did not provide enough care and did not take the necessary precautions. You can’t expect everyone to love animals. But on the other hand, it is an animals nature to always want to walk and run outside. Even if you keep that animal always on a leash or have kept him in a kennel most of his life, one cannot expect to behave against his/her nature when outside among people. The animal cannot be blamed for your lack of responsibility or interest in “breed brands”.
25) Are there any legal sanctions in our legislation on walking a dog without a leash?
According to the no. 5199 law on the protection of animals which was enacted in 2004, all animals are born equal and within the judicial provision of this law, they have the right to live and not be abused, tortured or treated badly by human beings.
However just because animals have these rights, one cannot hold the owner responsible for adhering to the rules of communal life when such an animal is plucked from its natural habitat and brought into an urban environment and let free.
We see this all those often in practice in our daily city lives; many people decide to own breed dogs such as Turkish Kangal, St. Bernard, German Shepherd, Rottweiler or even Pitbull despite these being illegal, to make their pathetic selves feel stronger in society. They will often walk outside with their dogs, mostly with a leash, just to watch their dog frighten others just so that they can feel powerful and fill in their egocentric needs. Sadly this kind of ego shows and senseless pet ownership often results in tragedy not only for animals but also for humans.
This is no different than wearing brand clothing or driving a powerful expensive car out on the roads just to show off. Physically it is impossible to fine a person for not using a leash on a small animal (a cat or a small dog). However if a bigger dog causes damage to a third person, the person responsible for the animal will be held accountable for not taking responsibility and will be fined for damages by a court. The amount of fine decided by the court can be reconsidered according to the specific situation. This is because, to take care of a living being means that one needs take a 20 year long responsibility. It is easy to become an animal owner, but it is not easy to own, take responsibility and love that living being. It is also clear that some people only love their own animal and that others love all living beings. It is not only prohibited by law no 5199 to get rid of an animal bought when young and strong because one gets bored with that animal and it goes out of fashion, it is also a huge sin on an upper conscience level. If you paid any attention, it is sad to see that many stray animals are in fact breed dogs and cats.
26) What are the responsibilities of an animal owner is such a case?
The responsibilities of an animal owner do not only include walking it with a leash, but is of greater array of responsibility which also includes having a complete and updated vaccination card, not letting the animal litter in communal areas.The civil code expects everyone to act according to correctness rules while everyone is making use of their rights and paying their debt to society. This means that the law does not prevent from a right being abused. Or just because you own an animal, one cannot act against the civil code of being neighbours. One cannot act contrary to other man’s rights when exercising his or her own freedom. However those who do not like animals cannot hold animals accountable for owning an animal in the city just because of these civil codes. Or the other way around, an animal owner cannot use these codes to go against a neighbour. It is never a good method to involve an animal when it comes to disputes with a neighbour.
27) When we or our dog get attacked by another dog without a leash, what are the legal steps we can take?
You not only de-socialise a dog and keep him away from humans, from trees, from cars, from soil and be one with nature, but you also walk the dog when you feel like showing off but blame the dog when he/she acts impulsively, despite his leash. This is definitely not the animal’s fault. You should not expect an animal to act normally towards you as an owner when a dog like a Turkish Kangal or a German shepherd dog that belongs in a rural area but lock this animal away instead in a small kennel and totally mess his/her psychology. In such a case, the party that has been attacked and damaged can claim all financial compensation from the animal owner.
Another big tragedy of such a situation is when an animal owner blames the animal for being ‘mad or crazy’ and allows the animal to be put to sleep. It is such a shame when an animal owner does not take responsibility to own up to his/her fault and would rather ignore himself and find blaming the animal that has no tongue or the ability reality and to tell his/her own person story as an easier option. How can you expect a Turkish Kangal dog, a Dalmatian, a Golden Retriever or a St. Bernard dog to act sociably when he/she spends most his/her own life in a tiny 5m2 box? What kind of leash can psychologically help such an animal adjust to act properly among people?
This animal will obviously also attack a human being, or another innocent animal that he/she feels is weaker than him/herself. This is especially true if the owner has trained the dog through violent acts such as beating or whipping to satisfy his/her sadistical desires. Such an animal will clearly attack any item that looks similar to a whip - whether it is a bag, a coat, or a walking stick. He/she will act like this just to avoid any further cruelty from his/her owner and show his/her loyalty.
28) Can you give us more information on the local Animal Protection Agent position, as regulated by law?
The term local animal protection agent is mentioned in law no 5199 and in its governing regulations.
The position entails the responsibility of protecting stray animals, especially cats and dogs, living in their own territory in a particular area or neighbourhood, and is on a VOLUNTARY basis.
In order to become a local animal protection agent, one needs to apply to the Provincial Directorate of Environment and Forestry (İl Çevre Orman Müdürlüğü) who in turn will send your application to the Provincial Council of Animal Protection (İl Hayvan Koruma Kurulu).
You will need to apply with the following documents;
1- An application letter including your Resume (do include any work you fulfilled relating to animals with an organisation or association),
2- Certificate of residence (İkametgah Senedi)
3- T.C. Identity Number
4- Photocopy of you Turkish ID
5- 2 photos
If your application is approved by the Provincial Council of Animal Protection, a letter informing this approval is sent to the local municipality with the request to open up a 1-day workshop for the volunteer. Local municipalities are obliged to start up such a workshop when a certain number of applications have been received. It is possible to receive your Protection Agent Card within a week and 10 days after this workshop. The card is valid for a year and it is extended if the person can clearly been active in the area of animal protected within that year.
Local Animal Protection Agents are responsible for;
a) Making sure that all stray animals, especially cats and dogs, are spayed/neutered, vaccinated, tagged and returned to where they were found. The agent also makes sure that the rehoming activities within the temporary shelter of the municipality are done according to legislation.
b) Working together with the municipality, collecting appropriate food left overs from restaurants, offices and factories in the area for animals,
c) Reporting any wrongful situation to the provincial directorate,
ç) Compiling all their activities in an end-of-the year report and submitting this to the Provincial Directorate,
d) Helping out with organising social activities for raising awareness on the protection of stray and street animals and for the benefit of the local temporary animal shelter,
e) Assisting in the production and publication of local magazines, brochures and relevant documents informing the public about the protection of stray and animals in need.
29) I want to write a letter to the Prime Minister’s office? I want to e-mail them. What do I have to do?
You should forward all the letters you sent to municipalities and GOVERNORSHIP also to BIMER (Prime Minister ’s Centre of Communication) and should call number 150 about your letter and claim.
Complaints made to higher authorities are often taken more seriously by lower end authorities, YOUR COMPLAINT WILL, IN MOST CASES, NOT BE SWEPT UNDER THE MAT.
For more information, please read the HUKUK (Law) section of our website through this link;
30) I want to travel to the U.S.A with my cat or dog? Will there be any problems?
Unlike many European countries, the U.S.A. does not have any quarantine restrictions, and since Turkish Airlines has direct flights, there should not be any problems. You should even be able to take your cat into the cabin.
It can be more problematic if you are flying through Europe. The vaccination card of the animal needs to be sent to the Provincial Directorate of Agriculture and you need to obtain a certificate of origin. This will take about an hour. When it comes to dogs; if the dog is under 5 kilos, you can usually take him/her into the cabin with you, but if it is bigger than that, it will need to go into the cargo section of the plane which is more risky.
You need to contact your airline and make the necessary reservations long time ahead of your flight since only one animal is permitted into the cabin area of the plane.
31) The necessary care is not given to an animal with an owner, the owner is mistreating the animal. What can I do?
If you take away the animal from the owners’ house, garden or shop, you will be held responsible and found guilty.
According to the no. 5199 article on Animal Rights Law, you will need to start an investigation together with the Provincial Directorate of Environment and Forestry, prove that the conditions are bad and the Directorate will seize the cat or dog with written proceedings, the animal is handed over to you or to the local shelter. If there is no one at the address, the police is called to the location. We have removed an animal in this way in Eskisehir.
You can find more information on the following link;
32) What do I need to do about a person who has (mis)treated an animal medically?
If this person is not a veterinary doctor and is harming the animal due to maltreatment, according to law 6343, article 68 (6 months to 2 years of imprisonment), a criminal complaint needs to be made to the public prosecutor. If the individual is a veterinary doctor, you need to send the evidence of maltreatment to the Chamber of Veterinary Doctors and to use their conclusion as a resource and evidence for your official complaint with the public prosecutor.
33) I have been wronged by a pet shop, what do I need to do?
Please check out the following links (in Turkish only) :
34) Can an animal be confiscated due to a sentencing of impoundment?
There are a number of articles and clauses on this topic; within the Code of Execution and Bankruptcy (İİK)
According to “2004 Syl. İİK. m. 82/1-4. clause”; “If the debtor is a farmer, the farm and his/her farming animals that are essential for the livelihood of the debtor and his/her family..."
According to “m.82/5. clause”; “If it is essential for the livelihood of the debtor and his/her family, the lactiferous cow chosen by the debtor, or 3 goats or sheep and their 3 month worth of feed and bedding”
According to m.82/1-7. paragraph, 2. sentence; “If the debtor relies on animal farming, the mandatory amount for their livelihood and feed and bedding for 3 months for the animals”
According to m.82/2. paragraph, last sentence, on top "... the exceptions mentioned in clauses numbered 4, 5, 7, is exclusively valid if the debt is not created based on the worth of these possessions”
Under “Confiscation of Animals with Babies” titled clause 83/b, “ In the case of the confiscation of animals, the babies of these animals cannot be confiscated as they need their mother and in turn the mothers cannot be removed because the babies are in need of their mothers”
On the other hand, according to Animal Protection Law 5199 clause 5/6. paragraph, “Animals that are not meant as commercial entities but are taken care of as a pet in a house or in the garden cannot be confiscated due to a debt”
When these 2 different statutory provisions are considered, animals such as a donkey that cannot be considered a pet animal or any other working animal that has a commercial value, cannot be protected from confiscation, however there are some exceptions to the rule and these need to be exampled in the case of a confiscation order. This shortly means that even though under law 5199 a donkey cannot be confiscated due to a debt, according to the Code of Execution and Bankruptcy it is possible to impound such animals.
Cows or other animals including sheep, goats and animals with wings for the slaughterhouse are also included in this article.
However you need to make an effort in order to change this. Just like a retired person’s SGK pension cannot be confiscated as stipulated by the Social Security Law, it should also not be possible to confiscate animals due to a debt that are essential for the livelihood of a person.
35) What do I need to do when I see an injured animal?
Whenever you see an injured animal, please do not act or intervene on your own. Even if it is a small cat or a dog, whenever injured that animal can act quiet violently. Examine the situation carefully and if circumstances allow, only then try to intervene on your own. Otherwise the best option is to call for professional help. If you are not financially able to cover costs yourself, you can call the nearest municipal veterinary services and ask for their assistance. The other option is thus, if you are willing to cover medical costs, to bring the injured animal to the nearest vet and to mention that it is a stray animal.
We do have to remind you that we, as HAYTAP, do NOT have the financial capacity to help all injured animals because the funds we receive from donations are very low. The medical costs of an injured animal can run up to quite high amounts of money.
In a setting where it is quite hard for us to encourage our volunteers to donate even 10 lira per month and where people often have the mentality “I take care of animals in my neighbourhood, why should I donate money to you?, it is impossible for us, no matter how much we would like to, to cover costs of all injured animals. What we are working very hard towards is to encourage and put force on the government to take charge and for relevant agencies to acquire animal ambulances and provide veterinary services free of charge.
36) I want to be a pet owner. What should I do?
You should first gather information about the sort of animal you would like to take responsibility over. Do not forget that you will need to make quiet a few changes to your life for this decision. You need to be aware of breed/race related issues and adjust your home and lifestyle to provide the best quality life for this animal.
Once your enthusiasm is over, you cannot get rid of such an animal, you will need to be take responsibility over the good life standards of this animal for his/her lifetime. (unless special circumstances intervene) You are responsible for the animal’s quality of life and good health. Do not forget that there are many costs involved such as health and feeding once you have acquired an animal.
It is important to know that there is no difference between an animal at a pet store or a stray animal. If you want to own a pet animal, please check out the relevant section on this website. There you will read all about how you can fine your new animal friend.
37) I was abused verbally and insulted because I put out cups of water and food for the animals?
So long you obey the ownership and neighbourhood civil codes, it is not a crime to feed animals out on the streets. However, it is important to pay attention to the rights of others, hygiene matters, order and cleanliness in the neighbourhood. Quite often disputes occur when an animal lover subjectively claims that the place is clean, whereas objectively speaking, there might be question marks as to the cleanliness. However if you keep to the civic code and make sure you are not disturbing anyone’s right but are still continuously being harassed and insulted, you should go to the police (even without mentioning the fact that you are feeding cats and dogs on the street) with possible witness statements and information. If there is physical assault, you should go to a state hospital, acquire a report of battery and bring this to the police. The public prosecutor will most likely file a case based on your accusations. One thing you do need to remember is that while protecting the rights of animals, we still have to protect the rights of human beings who do not like these animals. We can easily be put in the position of the unjust while we are rightful.
38) What do I need to do if my neighbour makes a complaint with the municipality about the animals I own at home?
Please read the article in the following link. It is important to understand the reasons behind such a complaint and of the situation itself.
39A) I want to make a donation for the activities of HAYTAP, how can I do this? What are your bank account numbers?
We would like to remind you that we prefer to receive continuous donations instead of a large lump sum of a single donation. You can call our offices and give our your credit card details so that we can arrange for a monthly donation of the amount you approve to be withdrawn from your account each month by HAYTAP.
If you want to make a donation through your bank account, you can also use the following information;
Account name : HAYTAP HAYVAN HAKLARI FEDERASYONU
ORTAKLAR CADDESİ ŞUBESİ
Branch code : 357
TL. Account: 629 70 59
TR21 0006 2000 3570 0006 2970 59
EURO Account: 908 48 82
TR24 0006 2000 3570 0009 0848 82
DOLAR Account: 908 48 83
TR94 0006 2000 3570 0009 0848 83
For our bank accounts with other banks;
39B) I want to leave money or real estate in my will for HAYTAP. How can I arrange this?
Please send an email to haytap @ haytap.org so that one of our lawyer can help you make the necessary arrangements.
40) Do you plan to use the media (TV channels) in order to announce your activities?
We have been trying to raise our voice on this topic on both printed and visual media, and have attended many TV and radio shows for many years. In order for these broadcasts to have a lasting effect, and in order for our representative agencies to be educated, we have created a special website www.haytap.tv where we publish these TV and radio shows. You can also find the answers to many of your questions published on this page through those videos as well. We mustn't forget that information is power. You need to make sure that the people you are dealing with, know that you are well informed and educated. The website of HAYTAP has been organised with the aim to be an education resource and to continuously be updated and serve as a encyclopaedia for all those who stand up for the rights of animals.
41) Can I register with you when I want to collect left over food or want to donate food to animal shelters?
It is especially not difficult to bring left over restaurant food to animal shelters in large cities because there are many shopkeepers and owners who are fine with donating their left over food. The biggest however is transporting these left overs to the shelters. If there is not a vehicle that can be used on a daily basis, there is no use for restaurants to collect their left overs. In smaller cities the problem is quite the opposite; while transportation often poses no problems, many restaurant owners are reluctant about helping out or are simply unable to help due to lack of leftovers. Since HAYTAP does not have enough funds for hiring a car, finding personnel and cover fuel costs, we are unable to do make this happen.
Please keep that in mind when you want to submit any proposals. This problem is often solved in smaller cities in Anatolia where the distances are not large transportation by volunteers or municipality vehicles. These shelters, in fact, need more food than shelters in larger cities. However, restaurants in these areas do not have a lot of left over food, therefore we prefer to consider your proposals for these smaller areas rather than for larger cities.
We can work together in projects where you are responsible for the transportation and distribution of left over food in larger cities by helping you through announcing your project to a wider audience as a social responsibility project. You can check out this link;
42) What do I need to do if dogs are being collected in my neighbourhood by the municipality?
Please check out our page in law related topics (HUKUK - only in Turkish) You can find example letters and formats in that section.
43) How does HAYTAP finance such large projects, upkeep a website, the HAYTAP home & vehicle, produce films, designs, educational programs, brochures etc.?
You can find the list of main income resources of HAYTAP here below. HAYTAP does not receive any other funds from the government or any municipality. If there are extra funds in our budget, we try to make complimentary donations to our member associations. We are continuously working on expending our resources on a national scale and by forming a well organised union.
INCOME RESOURCES :
b) Representative and member association monthly contributions
e) HAYTAP products sold during different fairs and stalls
44) How do spend your income resources? What do you do with the money?
With the proceeds from the sales of our yearly calendars only, we do the following (link in Turkish only)
For our other activities and how we spend the rest of our resources, please have a look around our website. Watch the short films, view our brochures, follow the route of our HAYTAP vehicle.
45) I found an abandoned animal on the street, I want to bring him/her to you. Can you look after it? What do I need to do?
In our headquarters, we neither have the personnel, or the resources of the infrastructure to take care of all abandoned animals. The best thing for you to do find a home for this animal yourself. You can try to find the owner by posting notices about the animal you found in the neighbourhood where you found it and adding your contact details on that notice. You can also post a notice on Haytap’s Lost Paws Facebook page. We do not advise you, under any circumstance, to leave the animal behind at an animal shelter of the municipality.
If you are an expert in rehoming animals and you would like to do this within the roof of HAYTAP, please do get in touch with us. It will be a way for you to reach out to even more animals. Most of our volunteers have started out just like this, they decided to be a part of the solution and solve the problem together with us. If you also like team work, you can be one of those volunteers.
46) We heard that you were organising Civil Society Educational Workshops on animal rights. What do we need to in order to be a part of it?
We have been organising these classes since 2013 and at this stage we can only conduct them online via our facebook page. You can be a member of this group (the page is closed to non-members), follow the notifications and remarks, post your own opinions and attend one of the meetings of our member associations. In these meetings you can discuss certain topics with others, you can and get a better idea of working within an ngo. Even if you do not prefer team work but would rather work individually, there is a lot you can learn from this page.
47) I hear a lot of criticism about HAYTAP not being active on the field, but instead, is focused on publishing and distributing brochures and posters. Is this true?
We work differently from many other ngo’s out there, in that we work within a corporate structure. If you take a look at our website, you will quickly see that we have taken part in many activities from educational programs, to activities relating to legislation such providing example claim letters and raising awareness on these activities. We also have created many short films and participated in radio/TV shows. We do not aim to make a show around every shelter visit, or feeding of stray animals on social media, as many people out there are busy doing. You simply need to check out the following links and ask the same questions with your conscience;
On the other hand, even though we are in no competition with any other organisation, we do want to know why no other association has been in Ankara lobbying for the animal rights cause? Why aren’t their suing the ministries or the municipalities? Why don't you go to schools and try to raise awareness on national television shows? Why don't you go to very rural areas and get organised there? Or protest against zoos where animals are kept in horrible enclosures behind bars? Why are these ngo’s not criticised for these reasons? These activities are indeed what we do. We know that we have short comings, but in order to fulfil these, we do need you to ask yourselves “WHAT CAN I DO? HOW CAN I SUPPORT AND BE OF USE?
48) What do I need to do in order to become a volunteer?
From what we have experienced till this day is that many people apply with us with great enthusiasm lose their motivation after a while. We have been in this business for many years and have seen many volunteers who have the attitude ‘I will work whenever I want to, leave whenever I want to, I do not need to account for my work to anybody’. These individuals, however animal friendly they might be, do not stay with us for very long after seeing the severity of the situation.
We know from experience that many volunteers will not even attend the first volunteer meeting, let alone the monthly or biweekly meetings we organise and leave us after a while stating many different reasons. I really hope that you will stay with us permanently and work with us for many years and help us fill in the missing component within our federation.
You can send your application to bilgi @ haytap.org We would like you to visit our offices on a regular basis and experience our meetings. Come to us with ideas and solutions, but please be the active party making your ideas come true.
It is important you must never forget that when you come to HAYTAP with an idea that we will adhere to our following statement;
No volunteer of HAYTAP can propose a project in which he or she will not actively be a part of.
49) I look after some stray animals on my own. Why would I need you? Why should I help you, donate money or support you? If I am ever in a difficult position, I will inform you all about it.
HAYTAP has been established with the aim to form a strong platform for the protection of animal rights, as desired by many associations and animal lovers for many years, and stand strong against the outside world and be a governing framework in Turkey. While many question why animal lovers do not form a union, the same question was also being asked back in 2006 when HAYTAP was established. That we have achieved quite a lot and have come further in our mission in a relatively short amount of time is evident and can be seen by simply glancing through our website. However, we totally respect those individuals who do not prefer to be a part of a federation, deal with civil society procedures and want to continue to feed and help animals on their own. But this platform creates a different sort of hope than individual work alone for many of us. You can not start a law suit on your own, you can not lobby for a cause or make use of the media, you can not part time educational activities, create public awareness through imagines, or help many animals in need in Anatolia under the umbrella of a civil society organisation, start calendar, sosrooms, haytapshop projects and reach out to thousands of individuals, have short films made, have meetings with ministries, have them make important decisions, bring attention to necessary amendments that need to be made in the legislation, explain to a mass crowd the horror behind dolphin parks and pet shops or use the power of social media effectively. Contrary to what most people think, social media is an outcome of these efforts. These social media actions are only effective under the platform of civil society organisations.
Working on your own on a cause is beautiful, but working together as a civil society organisation is totally different. The more tolerant you are, the better you are in team work, the more success you will achieve. Individually you can only achieve daily successes through facebook or twitter, but these do not speak to the masses but those actions that are on a more macro scale reach out to more animals and do more good for a longer time. We advise you to read about our education programs for the civil society organisations and become a member of the following online group.
50) What can come out of animal lovers coming together? Give me money and I will protect the animals. I already take care of the animals in front of my house. You are a foundation, you should give me money!
We have written quite a witty piece on this topic and as an answer to this question and question no. 54.
The link is here; (In Turkish only)
QUESTIONS ABOUT HAYTAP SHOP
51) You have many items on the website of HAYTAP SHOP , why don’t you use these products for street animals or donate them to animal shelters?
The items you see on the website of haytapshop are not HAYTAP’s commodity. There is a logistics company who is our intermediary that owns these products. All pricing, shipment and other structural activities are fulfilled by this company. We can therefore not buy those products and distribute them free of charge. Whenever you or someone you know makes an order through haytapshop.com, we receive a commission payment from this company according to a special agreement we signed.
52) Who can I contact about questions I have about the HAYTAPSHOP?
The shop and the federation are two different entities. Even their main offices are located at different locations. You can contact the haytapshop through the address and phone numbers mentioned on the website. Please do not ask those representatives any questions or explain your problems on animal rights. They will not be able to inform you fully. We, therefore, advise you to check our website on topic relating to animal rights. Please have understanding if your phone calls are not being answered, we are often bombarded with phone calls throughout the day. You can find the answer to almost all your questions on our website.
Please do not forward any questions about the shop to our federation. The volunteers of HAYTAP will not be able to answer your questions about the shop.For all your questions relating to haytapshop, please contact: 0212 876 39 11
53) How do I know that the proceeds from the HAYTAPSHOP will be go to HAYTAP and for the use of stray animals? Is the money being used for the right cause?
Our federation is under the supervision and audit of the governorship. All our expenses are being audited and checked. From time to time we publish our expenditure on our website in the form of invoices and photos. If you want check any expenditure, you can always contact one of our volunteers for confirmation. You do not need to be a member of HAYTAP for this to take place, however priority will be given to our members and member associations because they always stand by our side by making donations and supporting our activities. We should also mention that expenses that are not immediately apparent, such as case fees, expert opinion fees, brochures, posters, educational expenses, rent of the office, phone and internet expenses, costs of the Haytap minivan, are all covered thanks to the proceeds we receive through www.haytapshop.com