Illegal hunters have threatened the head of a village (“muhtar” in Turkish) in Turkey's southern Antalya province over his efforts to prevent poaching. The hunters wrote a letter urging Murat Yamasoy to “watch his steps or else face heavy consequences” and attached it on a deer they hunted down.
The incident happened in the village of Ürünlü in Antalya's İbradı district. The village head, Yamasoy, said that he will continue his efforts to stop illegal hunting within the boundaries of the village and will not “bow down to any threats.”
“They should know that illegal hunting will not be allowed here, even if the cost of this is death,” Yamasoy was quoted as saying by ANKA news agency on Dec. 23.
Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) took the issue to the agenda of parliament, calling on the government to finalize the long-awaited legislation that will expand the rights of animals in Turkey.
“Illegal hunters in the region [of Ürünlü village] have been killing several wild animals which are under protection; there is even information that they have been massacring villagers' cattle for fun. In the face of this situation, the police and judiciary should immediately do what is necessary,” said Rafet Zeybek, CHP's Antalya deputy.
In his parliamentary question addressing Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli, Zeybek asked how many wild animals have been so far massacred in Ürünlü village.
He asked how many illegal hunters have been so far caught in the village and what kind of judicial processes have been launched against them. He also asked what kind of measures the ministry adopted in the face of these poaching cases, which came to a point that the “village head can be even threatened.”
“How many illegal hunting cases have been detected in the last five years in Antalya and across Turkey, with a breakdown of provinces?” the CHP deputy further asked.