Free the Captive Dolphins in Turkey

Dolphin captivity is cruel, no matter where it is in the world.

Unfortunately, there are 10 dolphinariums in Turkey, with dolphins being held in rusty, cramped and unnatural pens. Sadly, many bear the physical and emotional scars of their appalling conditions.

As always, the captivity industry is behind every deal and facility, doing lucrative yet unethical business by duping unknowing dolphin-lovers into funding their cruel operations. Swim-with-dolphin programs, as well as Dolphin Assisted Therapy, are touted as being educational and healing experiences. However, these have been exposed as being fabrications created by the industry in order to continue their dirty business.

But YOU can make a difference for the dolphins of Turkey!

The Republic of Turkey Prime Ministry, together with the Turkish Minstry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, have the authority to shut down these operations and to prevent further captures and imports of dolphins into the country. There has been much national and international grassroots pressure, but we need to increase this as much as possible. When you sign this petition, you are telling these powerful agencies that you are against dolphin abuse and that you demand to see these facilities shut down as well as see legal protections for wild and captive dolphins increased.�

Please sign and share this petition, and let's free these dolphins once and for all!

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Dunyanin neresinde olursa olsun, yunuslarin tutsak edilmesi basli basina caniliktir. Maalesef Turkiye�deki 10 yunus parkinda da durum farkli degil. Yunuslar; pasli, ufacik deniz kafeslerinde tutuluyor, dehset verici sartlar altinda fiziksel ve duygusal hasarlara maruz kaliyorlar.

Her kazancli tesisin ve esaret endustrisinin perde arkasinda oldugu gibi, bu merkezler de, gerceklerin farkinda olmayan yunus-severleri, etik olmayan yontemlerle kendilerine cekerek zalim faaliyetlerine finansman sagliyorlar. Yunuslarla yuzme programlari ve sozde yunus terapileri, egitim ve tedavi amacli lanse edilerek musteri topluyor. Oysa tum bunlarin, endustrinin kendi kirli islerini surdurmek icin urettigi yakistirmacalar oldugu yakin zamanda ortaya cikarildi.

Ancak SIZ, Turkiye�deki yunuslar icin fark yaratabilirsiniz!

Turkiye sularinda surdurulen yasadisi yunus avciligina, yunus ithalatina ve bu isletmelerin calismasina engel olma yetkisi, oncelikle T.C. Basbakanligi ile T.C. Gida Tarim ve Hayvancilik Bakanligi�ndadir. Bu konuda, son yillarda, hem Turkiye, hem de dunya genelinde tabandan gelen bir orgutlenme mevcuttur. Ancak bu baskiyi, elimizden geldigince artirmamiz gerekmektedir. Bu dilekceyi imzaladiginizda, yunuslarin somurulmesine karsi oldugunuzu ve bu tesislerin tamaminin kapatilmasini istediginizi, yetkili makamlara iletmis oluyorsunuz. Ayni zamanda, hem dogadaki, hem de esaret altindaki yunuslar icin yasal koruma talep ettiginizi belirtmis oluyorsunuz.

Lutfen bu dilekceyi imzalayin ve cevrenizle paylasin! Tum yunuslari tek seferde ozgur birakmak elimizde!
We ask you urgently to end the captivity of marine mammals that has been going on in 10 different dolphin parks in Turkey.

All forms of deliberate capture and keeping, the possession of and internal trade (alive or dead) of those dolphins, whales, sea lions, seals and walruses mentioned in Appendix II of the Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats are prohibited. Holding them under captivity and using them for commercial purposes is an obvious violation of the same convention, to which Turkey is also one of the signatories. In the 90th article of the Constitution of the Turkish Republic, it is stated that the "international agreements duly put into effect bear the force of law." Furthermore, dolphin parks in Turkey violates almost all the principle provisions of the Animal Protection Bill Law No. 5199, especially that of the Article 4.

Hence, there is substantial legal proof that dolphin parks in Turkey remove those animals from their natural habitats and keep them captive for commercial purposes, thus, break the law by violating national and international legislations.

In these aforementioned facilities, wealth and hopes of families with handicapped children are being exploited via so-called "dolphin assisted therapy", using techniques which aren't based on any exact scientific findings worldwide. The so-called benefits of "dolphin assisted therapy"method on handicapped children have been strictly refuted by experts in Turkey too. The recent Turkish Ministry of Health's regulation that bans humans and animals to swim together in the same pool and the latest report that states the obnoxiousness of dolphin assisted therapy are also ignored by the relevant authorities. Consequently, the health and expectations of the handicapped are in danger.

In dolphin parks, an outdated sense of entertainment that lacks basic empathy is imposed on our children. Those captive marine animals, far away from their natural habitats and incapable of demonstrating their natural behaviours, are misrepresented to our children, who eventually become part of this dirty commerce.

There is this brutal capture/hunting industry behind the captivity of marine mammals in dolphin parks. All the dolphin parks in Turkey keep on financially supporting the cruel drive-hunt industry leading to the death of thousands of dolphins every year in Japan. When the dolphins are not imported from abroad, the people in the industry look for options to replace dolphins from the wild illegitimately. This illegal live capture of dolphins from the Turkish seas causes the decomposition of dolphin pods and the death of many individuals that form the overall dolphin population in the Turkish seas. Illegal capture is also against the law and constitutes a crime.

In the light of these realities, many NGOs and conscious people in Turkey and abroad have been maintaining their awareness campaigns and boycotts against those aforementioned dolphinariums and have been trying to contact the responsible governmental authorities for a very long time. As of today, none of these governmental institutions, including the Turkish Ministry of Food Agriculture and Livestock as the main responsible body, have taken real steps towards bringing necessary solutions.

Despite the significant local, national and international efforts on the well-being of the 4 badly injured dolphins that have been imprisoned in the tiny, rusty sea-pen in Kaş since the 8th of December, 2011, the responsible governmental bodies have not made a move in order to impose sanctions to the facility in accordance with the laws, as of today. Similarly, we have received no official response from the relevant institutions regarding our letters on the 3 dolphins that have been brought in Bodrum-Gvercinlik since the 26th of December, 2011. For that reason, we condemn all those responsible bodies that have been involved in malpractice and illegal commerce of dolphinariums since then.

Considering all our reasons mentioned above, we ask you to implement the provisions pertinent to the Turkish Constitution, the relevant laws, the international agreements, and the relevant regulations first.

As a result of this legally recognized implementation, we ask you to close all dolphin parks in Turkey and to set those animals free in their habitats after properly facilitating the protection and rehabilitation of those long-term captive animals, when necessary and, in accompaniment of marine mammal experts.

Finally, we ask you to add fundamental articles to the appropriate legislations in order to ban similar illegal activities and dolphin parks in the future forever.


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Turkiye'de, 10 farkli tesiste suregelen, deniz memelilerinin esaretinin sonlandirilmasini istiyoruz.

Yunuslar, balinalar, denizaslanlari, foklar ve morslar Turkiye'de yakalanmasi ve avlanmasi yasak turler arasindadir, esaret altinda tutulmalari ve ticari amaclarla kullanilmalari, Turkiye�nin de taraf oldugu Bern Sozlesmesi (Avrupa'nin Yaban Hayati ve Yasama Ortamlarini Koruma Sozlesmesi) geregince yasaktir. Turkiye Cumhuriyeti Anayasasi'nin 90. maddesine gore, uluslararasi sozlesmeler de kanun hukmundedir. 5199 sayili Hayvan Haklari Kanunu�nun 4. maddesinden baslayarak neredeyse tum maddeleri de bu yolla ihlal edilmektedir.

Dolayisiyla, bu canlilarin dogal yasam ortamlarindan koparilarak ve tutsak edilerek, ulusal ve uluslararasi duzeyde somut suc islendigine dair elimizde yeterli kanit vardir.

Soz konusu tesislerde �yunus terapisi� adi altinda, hicbir bilimsel temele dayanmayan, fahis fiyatli sozde tedaviler ile engelli cocuklarin ailelerinin paralari ve umutlari somurulmektedir. �Yunus terapisi� adli yontemin hicbir gecerliliginin olamayacagi, dunya capinda ve Turkiye'de uzmanlar tarafindan ispatlanmistir. T.C Saglik Bakanligi'nin "insanlarla hayvanlarin ayni havuzda bulunmasini yasaklayan" yonetmelik ve "yunuslarla terapinin yapilmamasinin uygun olacagi" ile ilgili rapor hice sayilmaktadir. Engelli bireylerin, umutlari ve sagligi tehlike altindadir.

Ayni zamanda yunus parklarinda cocuklarimiza; empati yoksunu, cagdisi bir eglence anlayisi asilanmaktadir. Cocuklar, esaret altinda dogal ortamlarindan ve dogal davranislarindan cok uzak olan bu deniz canlilarini yanlis tanimakta, kirli bir ticarete alet olmaktadir.

Deniz memelilerinin yunus parklari icin tutsak edilmesinin ardinda kanli bir yakalama sektoru vardir. Turkiye'deki tum yunus parklari, Japonya�da her yil binlerce yunusun olumu ile sonlanan kanli yakalama/avlama sektorune maddi kaynak olusturmaktadir. Yunuslar ithal edilmediginde basvurulan "kacak yakalama" yontemi ise, Turkiye karasularindaki yunus populasyonlarinin dagilmasi ve populasyondaki cogu bireyin olumu ile sonuclanmaktadir. Ustelik varolan yasalara da aykiridir ve suc teskil etmektedir.

Turkiye'deki sivil toplum kuruluslari ve duyarli kisiler, bu gercekler dogrultusunda uzun suredir farkindalik calismalari yurutmekte ve yetkili kurumlara ulasmaya cabalamaktadir. Basta en yetkili mercii olan T.C Gida Tarim ve Hayvancilik Bakanligi olmak uzere hicbir yetkili kurum, bugune kadar konu ile ilgili somut bir sorumluluk ustlenmemis, gereken adimlari atmamistir.

8 Aralik 2011 tarihinde Bodrum'dan Kas'a getirilerek kucuk ve pasli bir deniz kafesine hapsedilen, gozle gorulecek kadar derin yaralar almis 4 yunus icin verilen buyuk mucadeleye ragmen, yetkili kurumlar harekete gecmemis ve tesise hicbir yaptirim uygulanmamistir. Ayni sekilde, Bodrum-Guvercinlik�teki parka getirilen 3 yeni yunusla ilgili olarak 26 Aralik�ta baslattigimiz basvurularimiza hicbir resmi yanit alamadik. Gorevini ihmal eden ve bu kirli ticarete ortak olan yetkili tum kurumlari da bu nedenle kiniyoruz.

Yukarida siraladigimiz tum bu nedenler dogrultusunda, T.C. Anayasasi�nin, varolan ilgili yasalarin, uluslararasi sozlesmelerin ve ilgili yonetmeliklerin uygulanmasini, bu uygulamanin sonucu olarak da, Turkiye'deki tum yunus parklarinin kapatilmasini, bu parklarda esarete mahkum edilmis tum canlilarin -uzun sureli esaretlerde ve/veya gereklilik tespit edildigi durumlarda, uygun sartlarda ve uzmanlar esliginde rehabilite edildikten sonra- ait olduklari sonsuz okyanuslara geri birakilmasini talep ediyoruz.

Gelecekte ayni yasadisi faaliyetlerin yapilmasini ve tesislerin acilmasini engelleyecek sekilde ilgili mevzuata yunus parklarina izin verilmeyecegine dair gerekli maddelerin de eklenmesini talep ediyoruz.
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