Azerbaijan has been protested yesterday in three major cities of Turkey -Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir- following the footage on international media that shows Azerbaijan authorities burn live dogs as a preperation for 2015 European Games. Activists urged Azerbaijan to stop the massacre right away.
Animal rights activists have staged a demonstration in front of Istanbul Azerbaijan Consulate to protest mass destruction of stray animals in Azerbaijan for 2015 European Games. More than 100 people in Istanbul has marched to the Consulate with a banner reading “Baku is Burning Dogs” and spilled sacks of ashes in front of the Consulate to commemorate burned dogs.
Activists gathered in front of Akmerkez Shopping Mall in business district of Istanbul, Levent and walked towards the Consulate. One-track of Zeytinoglu Road that leads to Istanbul Azerbaijan Consulate has been blocked by rallying people and the slogans chanted such as: “Baku means Massacre”, “Azerbaijan Smells Like Blood”, “Don't Stop Shout, Freedom is a Right”. Turkish riot police has welcomed the crowd in front of the Consulate and informed them that they cannot rally in front of the Consulate. After a short quarrel, activists managed to proceed their demonstration in front of the Consulate.
Guray Tezcan who read the press statement reminded that animal massacre for 2015 European Games is not a single issue, but a part of ongoing effort in Azerbaijan to eradicate stray animals. Tezcan gave the example of another massacre in Azerbaijan that happened in 2012 for Eurovision Song Contest. Tezcan also said that “The idea to eradicate stray animals in the name of modern civilization is not just torturing animals but also Azerbaijani people who raise their voice for animals. Many people have been prosecuted and repressed because of peaceful demonstrations.”
At the end of press statement, Tezcan reminded recenlty built massive (20.00 dogs capacity) Kisirkaya Dog Shelter of Istanbul and said: “Stray animals belong to the street, not to massive and remote concentration camps.”
Following the statement, activists piled sacks of ash in front of Azerbaijan Consulate to commemorate burned dogs and chanted: “We are all animals, You can't reduce us by burning!” Some activists placed stickers in the shape of Azerbaijan flag on top of the ash, but police acted quickly to pick them up due to a Turkish law that bans official flags to lay on the ground.
Animal rights activists called all rights defenders to pressure Azerbaijan and boycott 2015 European Games until this mass murder stops. International protests against Azerbaijan will continue on 16th March (today) in front of Azerbaijan Consulates in Tbilsi and Moscow.
Video (with English press statement):
https://www.facebook.com/yeryuzuneozgurluk (Hacked on 03.14.2015)
To the Press and The Public,
Today we are here to protest the massacre of March 5th, 2015, which took place in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. It is the date of those horrifying events involving the killing and burning of stray animals which reached us and the whole world through photographs and recorded videos. We are also here to expose the destruction and extermination policies of the states against all living beings.
The massacre and genocide policy of Azerbaijan towards stray animals is not only related to the European Games, which will be taking place in Baku on June 15. Before the most recent events, photos of cats and dogs shot up, killed or paralyzed because of a bullet hitting their body, have reached us many times before. Last year a dog was kicked out of a shop by pouring boiling oil on him, just because he entered the shop out of hunger. Recently another dog was found hanging from a tree, beaten and one of his eyes taken out by the municipal employees. He was saved at the last minute.
Violation of all living beings' right to live have also been directed to people's freedom of thought and expression. The mentality that sees street animals as "elements to exterminate" is practicing such mentality without any distinction between humans and animals. The concrete example of such can be seen in threats, physical violence and arrests that Baku is applying on the opposing parties. Advocates who announced the massacre in Azerbaijan to the whole world are now being arrested one by one. Activists, journalists and civil society members are being disregarded of their rights to freedom of expression and speech.
Violations towards animals are not only taking place in Azerbayan, these events are happening all over the world and Turkey through sexual abuse, rape, poisoning, locking up in shelters, and killing methods under the name of ‘putting to sleep’. The important thing here to note is that it is a systematic state policy.
Today Turkey is confronted with the danger of giant concentration camps aiming to detain thousands of stray animals. Despite all the ongoing public opposition and resistance, one of these huge death camps, Kısırkaya Animal Shelter, has been opened recently and the land allocation has been completed for the other one, Pendik Animal Shelter, with unprecedented tyranny of the government.
Last week, Istanbul hosted ICAM's 2nd International Conference on Dog Population Management, which was widely and severely protested by animal rights activists both outside the conference and on social media. The conference consisted of countless presentations focusing merely on “the hows and the whys of clearing away and killing stray dogs” in an academic manner. It was also designed as a stage for promoting equipments and products to be used in catching and caging of the animals fort he new shelters.
Our struggle now exceeds beyond the boundaries of countries, flags and races. Over the course of this fight, it is of no importance to us where or by whom the massacre and exploitation is devised. Those who exploit rather physically or economically weaker living beings of its own kind or even look for ways to better benefit from them are the products of the same state policies that cross the limits. They are no different than those roughneck magnates or big brothers who stigmatise women as “deposit” and dogs as “haram”, or those that set their eyes on the flesh, babies, milk, skin, meat, dress, beliefs and non-beliefs, languages and cultures of all living beings. They are the spitting image of one another who have a design against the branches and the fruits of trees, build barriers over the stream beds or demolish the woods and bird nests to construct residences instead. They are surely the patrons of the same social and political establishment who dare to repress women and chickens to decide on the number of their children and their eggs! In this context, today a simultaneous protests is taking place in Izmir together with Istanbul, and tomorrow on March 16th in Moscow, capital of Russia and in Georgia's capital, Tbilisi there will be simultaneous protests taking place as well.
For the whole world to see, we expose and condemn Azerbaijan's bloodstained politics targeting stray animals and their rights to live, and Azerbaijani authorities' threats of arrests, attempting to inhibit the freedom of expression of our activist Azerbaijani friends.
This protest is dedicated to the memory of Rachel Corrie, who said “if oppression is from us, then I am not a part of us” and died under the blade of a bulldozer while trying to stop an Israili tank in Palestine, and of Jill Philips, who was crushed by a truck driver while defending the lives of calves on the way to the slaughterhouse, and of everyone who poured into streets to act for a better future with absolute freedom and ecophilosophy in mind, just like Berkin Elvan.
FREEDOM TO ANIMALS, PEOPLE AND THE EARTH!
#stopkillingtryliving #dogburning #azerbaijan