In the coming days, a long-awaited animal rights bill will be presented to the Turkish parliament, calling for prison sentences for anyone who kills, abuses or tortures animals.
The final bill was submitted to the ruling Justice and Development Party (President Recep Tayyip Erdogan AKP) on June 8th, 2021, and is expected to come into force on July 1st, 2021.
With the aim of curbing the incidents of violence against animals, some of which have even made headlines in recent years, the expected law will define animals as “living beings” and not as “goods” as under current law.
In the new law, which is supposed to take into account the requirements of current values, citizens and NGOs, the name will initially be changed. It is planned to rename the previous “Animal Welfare Act” to “Animal Rights Act”.
A specially trained animal police are to be used.
Should the law pass, imprisonment for crimes against animals will range from six months to four years, which is long enough to effectively block opportunities for a person to be released on bail or converted into a fine.
In addition to imprisonment for the sexual abuse of animals, a judicial sentence of at least 100 days is imposed.