News & Thoughts > Stories from the Rainbow Bridge > The Tragic Fate of The Turkish Van Cat

Share |
04/29/2011 14:31:50 PM by KapitN   Send Message to KapitN  2693  views, category: Stories from the Rainbow Bridge view all blogs

    

The Turkish Van is famed as the "swimming cat", one of the few felines that actually embraces water. It's also a symbol of the Kurdish people, found in art and culture dating back to the 16th century. However, as the indigenous Kurds were persecuted by the Turkish Republic, so were their beloved cats. Turkish Vans were targeted for extermination as an extension of the horrifying treatment of the Kurdish people.

In 2000, when the Turkish government was cracking down upon disobedience within the Kurdish population, they ordered their soldiers to destroy anything related to Kurdish culture. This included the local Turkish Vans, despite the cats being completely oblivious to human struggles. Nearly two hundred of the cats were poisoned, according to a report by the German animal rights organization "Duesseldorf Group". The government denied these deeds, saying that it  would be hard for the military to find 200 Turkish Vans, much less kill them.

While it is possible that the Turkish Vans were not killed, the persecution the Kurds have faced is extensively documented. The report from the Duesseldorf Group was believable in these contexts, as most rumors are based on a kernel of hard truth. If true, this is an example of man's capacity for inhumanity. The killing of cats is not as bad as the killing of humans, but it does call attention to ethnic struggles in a way that's understandable on a gut level. The deaths of thousands of humans seems like a statistic to many, but the targeted killing of their cats, creatures who were just companions to the oppressed populations, hits immediately. 

If all stories about animals reflect upon humans, this is a metaphor for just how bad the past (and in a different fashion, present) situation was for the Kurds-- and how it should not be ignored.

About the author: A freelance writer/cartoonist living in LA, with my fiance' and our wonderful cat. You can see my work at www.rubysworldcomic.com and rubynation.smackjeeves.com more >>

See something on the Internet that you'd like us to profile in this column? Anything about pet fashion, technology or interesting is good. Send us an email to editors@yeepet.com or leave a comment below.

Share |
No Comments Yet

KapitN's Info 

user
KapitN
Member Since: 02/24/2010
Total Blogs: 272
KapitN's Blogs
profile Most Recent
profile Most Commented
profile Most Viewed
Need FREE advertising for your pet
business and quality backlinks to your pet site?
Join Yeepet Buzz Club or submit your article today!

Search by Keywords

 Sign Up for Newsletters

 Pet Gallery

Featured Bloggers

KapitN KapitN
Los Angeles, CA United States

Blogs posted: 272


HAFowler HAFowler
Peru, NY United States

Blogs posted: 22


Jade07 Jade07
Hollywood, CA United States

Blogs posted: 26


K.T.Riffic K.T.Riffic
Seymour, CT United States

Blogs posted: 321


Latest Local Events

No Events Found