German dolphin defenders celebrate closing of Turkish dolphinarium
(Germany/Turkey – 5th of May 2011) The mayor of the city of Bodrum, Mehmet Kocadon, informed in a official writing to the managers of the dolphin protection organisations ProWal, Andreas Morlok, and Jürgen Ortmüller of the Whale and Dolphin Protection Forum (WDSF) from the 02nd of May, 2011 that he guarantees that the dolphin park in Bodrum will be closed.
Mehmet Kocadon: „ From the bottom of my heart I share with you your sorrows and doubts as to the dolphins and their environmental conditions and I feel with you. I would like to assert that this dolphin park does not exist in Bodrum in future any more. I guarantee that the dolphins held as prisoners in Bodrum will get their freedom again.“
Activists of both organisations made a protest tour about 2,000 kilometres long to all nine dolphinaria in Turkey in April, 2011. In doing so, delegations of the dolphin defenders spoke with mayors of the dolphinaria towns to cause a closing of the facilities. The Turkish media reported in over 400 press about this action:
The animal welfarists had presented videos and photos of the dolphinariums to the mayor of Bodrum Mehmet Kocadon, which showed that there are held four dolphins on smallest space in sea pens and that they particular wildly lash about. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_ivyWCFi-Q) .
According to the operators the dolphins would be offered for swimming with children and the purpose of therapy.
The wild-caughted dolphins would be used by not medically qualified amateur therapists as per the statement of the animal welfarists. Deep scars and furrowed heads testified from rank fights and escape attempts of the wild animals. WDSF manager Jürgen Ortmüller: „The swimming with dolphins or so-called dolphin therapies, can become extremely dangerous, particularly as the animals with their more than 200-kilogramme-weight are unpredictable in captivity.“
After the manager of the Onmega dolphin centre, Turgay Uykusuz, (Marmaris) insulted the animal welfare activists as „brainless idiots“ in view of TV cameras and the major of Marmaris Zeki Erin, rejected a conversation, the animal welferists now announced a tourism boycott call against the Turkish holiday resort Marmaris. The dolphins also would abuse in small sea pens for Swimming with dolphins and therapy in Marmaris, same as Bodrum.
The mayor of Alanya (Hasan Sipahioglu) pretend also not to be there. Four dolphins died last year in "his" dolphinarium in Alanya. The WDSF could proved under presentation of a copy of a written contract that the dolphinarium had imported ten dolphins from the bloody dolphin hunt in Taiji/Japan for a special price of 280,000 US dollars.
The mayors in the other dolphinarium towns Türkler/Alanya (Hayri Cavusoglu), Belek (Aslan Torun), Kemer (Mustafa Gül), Kas (Birol Engin) and the Deputy Govermor of Antalya (Metin Borazan) showed impressed of the photographs and videos and promised immediate remediate in the conversation with the delegation of WDSF and ProWal.
The dolphin defenders now hope for closing all dolphinaria in Turkey after the decision of the mayor of Bodrum because the conditions of keeping is almost the same desaster. WDSF and ProWal achieved in Germany the end of the dolphinarias in Münster and in Heidepark Soltau. A planned dolphinarium on Rügen was not built after their interventions at all. They want to expand their actions and the communication with deciders of dolphinaria worldwide.
After the German tour agencies have followed the demands of the animal welfare organisations to offer no longer dolphinarium-tours in Turkey, the seats in the dolphinariums remain nearly empty (http://www.wdsf.eu/reiseveranstalter). Only some Turkish and Russian agencies offer the dolphinarium tours.
More information photograhs and videos: