Euthanising Strays: The Karpaz Donkey Debate

Karpaz Donkeys - crossing road

As the controversy over euthanising stray animals persists in Turkey, Karpaz donkeys are now at the centre of a public opinion campaign. A recent report by Sözcü Newspaper titled “Fight to Euthanise Donkeys in Northern Cyprus” has caught the public’s eye, Kibris Postasi reports.

The article highlights complaints from residents in the Karpaz region about stray donkeys causing accidents and damaging crops. Kaleburnu village headman Halil Yeşilbulut said, “Every farmer’s 20-30 acres of barley and wheat are being ruined. We are tired of chasing donkeys every day”. Similarly, Avtepe village headman Rezvan İnlen commented, “The number of wild donkeys has increased significantly. Authorities are treating us like donkeys”.

Karpaz Donkeys Being Used as Scapegoats

Speaking to Kibris Postasi, Fırat Borak, President of the Dipkarpaz Environmental Protection and Social Activity Association, emphasised that neither Kaleburnu village head Yeşilbulut nor Avtepe village head Rezvan İnlen, although disgruntled about crop damage, mentioned anything about euthanising donkeys. “Certain circles in Turkey want to create public perception to euthanise stray dogs. Karpaz donkeys are being used as a cover for their own crimes against humanity“, Borak said.

Karpaz Donkeys a Big Tourist Attraction

Borak noted that such reports are deliberately prepared, pointing out that while the donkey population has increased and they have caused damage to crops and even ventured outside Karpaz, a project was previously established to address this issue. “The aim here is to take measures to prevent the excessive population growth of donkeys and to protect them. This has been discussed for a long time“, he said.

Fırat Borak explained that tourists come to Karpaz specifically to see the donkeys. “These donkeys have significant economic benefits for us, but they also incur substantial costs. Therefore, the donkeys should be protected based on the opinions of experts. If the donkeys are placed in a fenced area and overpopulation is controlled, the problem can be managed“, he stated.

Since the donkeys are stray, they damage people’s crops and can cause accidents when they wander onto roads“, he added.

Our stance on this issue is clear and definitive: the donkeys should be controlled based on the opinions of experts“, said Borak. 

Kibris Postasi

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