The İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality announced on Monday that they will prohibit horse-drawn carriages in the Princes’ Islands while introducing electric carriages instead, following President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s remarks on animal rights during a campaign rally in İstanbul yesterday.
“We are conducting a project to rescue horses in the islands from the yokes of carriages,” Erdoğan told the crowd, the Diken news website reported.
Video footage showing that horses had died from heavy labor recently went viral and sparked outrage among the public.
A campaign named “Don’t use carriages, horses are dying” had been launched a couple of years ago, which collected more than 350,000 signatures to stop the use of horses in the Princes’ Islands and other touristic destinations in Turkey.
According to an Animal Rights Watch Committee (HAKİM) report, 272 carriages were drawn by a total of 1,540 horses in the Princes’ Islands, and official data showed that almost 400 horses were dying every year under difficult work conditions.
The new electric carriages will accommodate a maximum of 12 people and will first be used on Kınalıada, although the statement from the municipality did not mention the date their use would begin.