Mert Akkök is walking with his dog, everyone is rescued. Photo: EFE.
Three cats with one and a half dozen dogs, one horse, one donkey and 46 seagulls. These are the companions of the house Mert AkkokA 48-year-old businessman dedicated to hosting Injured animals Is Sick In between Yards Inside Istanbul.
At first it was just that DogsWhen the little donkey, known as Kadif (Velvet), tried to steal a glass of tea from his hand, Mert told AFC. He lived in a flat then Center of Istanbul And once an injured or sick stray dog will be brought home for care.
Not uncommon in Istanbul, where “ownerless” dogs walk on even the most elegant streets: people in the neighborhood Considers common property and takes care of them.
The Includes free healthcare: Every veterinarian in the city is obliged to see them, just as cats settle on the city’s sidewalks and rooftops.
“Istanbul has the most humane rules in the world regarding our stray animals. The law does not allow them to be slaughtered, they are only castrated and left on the streets. There are probably more than a million dogs in Istanbul and we don’t even talk about cats, “Mert estimates.
But after taking several healthy dogs home, Mert’s neighbors began to complain Five years The merchant moved to a house with a garden on the outskirts, where he now cares for about a hundred animals.
The seagull fell from the nest
The Dogs They walk on three floors of the house: they rest on the sofa, go to the bedroom and lie down at the work table, from where Mert organizes his business.
Work in the industry Health And connect Private hospitals across Europe With potential clients for cosmetic surgery, hair replacement or artificial insemination.
A job that demands Frequent travel During which time he has to give up his animal husbandry Employee.
There is a fence at the end of the garden and one behind it Thirty seagulls, Everyone is unable to fly. These are almost always puppies that fall from the nest to try to fly before they know it.
“People find them, they search the internet for what to do with a seagull cub, and they come to my profile on a social network, a crazy person who cares about seagulls,” Mert said.
They walk with seagulls Three cats Who share a bunch of fresh fish with their winged companions that the owner distributes every morning.
Two of them have already been born here, Mert says and are used to it. They will even honor the nest that kept a few seagulls in the garden grass and where there are two olive green eggs at the moment.
When the chicks come out they will swell the colony: together 35 seagulls disabled There are eleven more who can fly, but always come back to preservation: some were born here.
A donkey is traveling by taxi
In the central part of the garden, Young ass. Kadif hails from the city of Diyarbakir in southeastern Anatolia, about a thousand kilometers from Istanbul. Someone an observation Newborn ass Her dead mother’s body on the side of the road.
“They contacted me because they knew me on social media and I couldn’t say no. They sent it to me in a taxi, “said Mert.” At first, Rehan, the mare, was a little jealous, but now they’re mixing very well, “he says.
Also Rehan Orphans, Explains: “He came from a nearby farm, he was born weak and half-blind; When they sold their mother they let her die, so I bought her and raised her with a bottle of milk from another horse in another city; Now he thinks I am his father. “
The Coexistence It also has rubbish: it took some time to teach the dog not to break the computer by jumping on the table in the home office where the businessman runs his business, and very recently, Kadif ate a key. Saxophone Which Mert likes to play surrounded by his hairy companions.
Also in animals, caution must be exercised: thus, seagulls do not take Mert cats, except for three friends.
“There can be problems with dogs. There are a lot of people in Istanbul who are dedicated to cats, I leave it to others, “he said.
Of course, when he retires, he will probably be able to expand the space and dedicate himself entirely to his colleagues, he noted. Then who knows if this garden will become Noah’s ark.