Sydney Shaffer 3 minutes
Target: Mehmet Falakali, former head of the tourism ministry’s Selcuk office
Goal: Stop the festival of camel wrestling occurring in Turkey.
The 40th year of the Camel Wrestling Festival has taken place in Turkey last week. This event takes place annually and thousands of people attend. This year, 152 camels wore saddles and cloths on their humps. The camels wear muzzles to prevent them from using their teeth on each other but nonetheless they fight in sandy areas for everyone to watch. There are referees present as well. The audience sets up tables to barbecue and celebrate the event on the sidelines. This event draws criticism nearly every year from animal rights groups since the camels endure abuse and many injuries during the event. The festival is even being called a criminal act.
The camels are also paraded through the streets for a “pageant” before the festival. They are not only being abused by wrestling but also exploited for the entertainment of humans. Allegedly, the camels are separated if things get too intense. It is said the camels cannot actually injure each other but, why in the world are camels wrestling? It should not happen at all. The festival organizers excuse the acts by saying it is a tradition and because the event has successfully gone on for years, it should not be stopped. This is not an excuse to put the camels through such abuse for the 40th year in a row.
Dear Mehmet Falakali,
Your support of this inhumane camel wrestling festival is unacceptable. An animal rights activist group has clearly expressed their concerns and yet, no one has spoken to them about the festival. It is wrong and the camels are in extreme danger due to the actions of the people participating in this event. You have the responsibility to listen to the opposition and ultimately keep your animals safe, and we demand you try to understand the perspective of those who oppose the event. Although it is a tradition, that does not mean it is right. Camels are being exploited and used for entertainment and that is unfair, unsafe, and inhumane. You must listen to the people who disagree and see the wrongdoings of the event. Think about the camels and how they do not deserve this abuse year after year.
Photo Credit: Becker1999