Duvar English

A tender to hunt down 17 mountain goats in the eastern province of Dersim will be held on July 13, despite public outcry against the hunting of the indigenous animals that are considered sacred by locals.

Residing in Dersim’s Munzur Valley, mountain goats are considered to belong to Khidr, a person in local legends who possesses great mystic knowledge and is considered a prophet of sorts.

Dersim locals have petitioned to ban the hunting of mountain goats, and succeeded in having the governor at the time, Tuncay Sonel to sign off on a ban on all hunting in the area in 2019.

Spokesman for non-governmental environmental organization Munzur Protection Board, Hasan Şen noted that mountain goats are protected by the Bern Treaty as species who risk extinction and who need to be protected.

“However the governor’s provincial hunting board set a hunting quota for this animal and violated the international treaty that we are a signatory of. I believe the Bern Treaty is being violated,” Şen said.

The spokesman added that mountain goats in the eastern Black Sea region were placed under protection for this reason.

Adding that the valley is home to numerous endemic species, the spokesman noted the presence of Munzur River’s red-scaled trout.

“The wildcat, bears, marten cats, wolves, badgers and otters are also residents of the area. The partridge, sparrow-hawks, eagles and many other bird species have been kind enough to stay despite massacres of their kind.”