Azerbaijan has been protested on 15th of March in three major cities of Turkey -Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir- following the footage on international media that shows Azerbaijan authorities burn live dogs as a preperation for 2015 European Games. Activists urged Azerbaijan to stop the massacre right away.
Animal rights activists have staged a demonstration in front of Istanbul Azerbaijan Consulate to protest mass destruction of stray animals in Azerbaijan for 2015 European Games. More than 100 people in Istanbul has marched to the Consulate with a banner reading “Baku is Burning Dogs” and spilled sacks of ashes in front of the Consulate to commemorate burned dogs.
Activists gathered in front of Akmerkez Shopping Mallin business district of Istanbul, Levent and walked towards the Consulate. One-track of Zeytinoglu Road that leads to Istanbul Azerbaijan Consulate has been blocked by rallying people and the slogans chanted such as: “Baku means Massacre”, “Azerbaijan Smells Like Blood”, “Don’t Stop Shout, Freedom is a Right”. Turkish riot police has welcomed the crowd in front of the Consulate and informed them that they cannot rally in front of the Consulate. After a short quarrel, activists managed to proceed their demonstration in front of the Consulate.
Guray Tezcan who read the press statement reminded that animal massacre for 2015 European Games is not a single issue, but a part of ongoing effort in Azerbaijan to eradicate stray animals. Tezcan gave the example of another massacre in Azerbaijan that happened in 2012 for Eurovision Song Contest. Tezcan also said that “The idea to eradicate stray animals in the name of modern civilization is not just torturing animals but also Azerbaijani people who raise their voice for animals. Many people have been prosecuted and repressed because of peaceful demonstrations.”
At the end of press statement, Tezcan reminded recenlty built massive (20.00 dogs capacity) Kisirkaya Dog Shelter of Istanbul and said: “Stray animals belong to the street, not to massive and remote concentration camps.”
Following the statement, activists piled sacks of ash in front of Azerbaijan Consulate to commemorate burned dogs and chanted: “We are all animals, You can’t reduce us by burning!” Some activists placed stickers in the shape of Azerbaijan flag on top of the ash, but police acted quickly to pick them up due to a Turkish law that bans official flags to lay on the ground.
Animal rights activists called all rights defenders to pressure Azerbaijan and boycott 2015 European Games until this mass murder stops. International protests against Azerbaijan will continue on 16th March in front of Azerbaijan Consulates in Tbilsi and Moscow.
15.03.2015 / Freedom to Earth Association Press Release