03 March Wednesday

Horses of Istanbul Islands Now Live in Joy

Hitched up to death once upon a time in the Princes’s Islands, an archipelago of nine islands off the coast of Istanbul, horses now live in their private lodges in peace and joy after the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality’s acqusition.

The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IMM) bought nearly 1200 horses and rehoused over 860 last year.

The Islands draw great attention of tourists every year and the only means of transport to explore the insides of the islands before the IMM installed electric cars last year were horse-drawn carriages.

After a fierce debate that started over the poor condition of horses kept by their owners by animal rights activists, the IMM decided to implement a ban on horse-drawn carriages to stop the exploitation of horses.

The IMM bought nearly 1200 horses from their owners, out of which some 860 horses were rehomed across the country for free, while around 120 horses were sent to the service of the municipal police department. The rest of the horses are now in the municipality’s special barns, which officials call “loggias” or “gazebos,” where they are being fed well and looked after.

“They live in barns of 14 square meters. They now run freely,” said Mr. Mustafa Oktay Aksu, a veterinarian and also a member of the Istanbul Municipal Council.

“People who were aware of the poor conditions these horses were in previously, pray for us on seeing how well kept these horses are now,” Mr. Aksu added.

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