The love for stray animals can be seen inexplicably in Turkey, so much so that the country has cafes and even metro stations where stray cats and dogs are welcomed and fed, getting patted by people who devotedly love them and genuinely care for them.
For foreigners, this is quite intriguing as caring for strays is not looked upon as a charity but something that embodies Turkish culture. But despite the fact that the majority of the people cherish stray animals so dearly, there are those who voice their discomfort.
A small disagreement in the northwestern province of Tekirdağ’s Çorlu district that sparked a fierce debate eventually turned into a widespread discussion on social media where most users do not hesitate to speak up and express their opinions.
Özay Kaya, a music teacher, expressed his anger by lashing out at his neighbors after a stray dog being cared for by residents in front of his apartment was complained to the local authorities, an incident in which its footage went viral on social media.
“This is everyone’s dog, not the street or the apartment. We are not alone in this world; there are animals too. Complainants should not keep the door of the building open,” Kaya said in the video, adding that he would “deal” with those who complain about a dog that does no harm to anyone.
“Who is this dog hurting? You should not hold a grudge against a dog. I live in flat 16. My name is Özay Kaya,” he said in the footage while neighborhood residents watching him intently.
After the video became a trending topic on Twitter, some praised flat 16, referring to Kaya, on social media, while others expressed their opinion that Kaya should take care of the dog at his home, not in front of the apartment building.
“We found Köpük [foam in Turkish] on a snowy day about two years ago when his hind legs were not working. We fed him with milk, meat and wrapped him in blankets every day for two months,” Kaya told Hürriyet reporter.
“We got him to walk again after two months of struggle. We have such an emotional history; we saved him from death,” Kaya said.
On learning that the apartment management wanted the dog to be taken to an animal shelter, Kaya said he got emotional and that in a fit of anger, he raised his voice to let the apartment residents know what he had to say in order to protect the dog.
Kaya emphasized that the action he prevented concerns all stray dogs and that everyone should be sensitive about it in some way.
Hurriyet Daily News