On 14th September 2023, reports that the Turkish Lawyers’ Bar Association in the northwestern province of Bolu had taken legal action against the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry over a red deer hunting tender echoed similar legal actions previously taken against this type of trophy hunting.
The ministry had recently held a tender to hunt 14 red deer in Bolu for a total of 408,000 Turkish Liras in fees (hunting fee of 120,000 liras for three red deer in Kıbrıscık, 104,000 liras for four red deer each in Sırçalı and Seben, and 80,000 liras for three red deer in Taşlıyayla). Following that announcement, the Bolu Bar Association Animal Rights Commission filed a lawsuit for the cancellation of the tender.
The commission’s statement read, “On behalf of the Bolu Bar Association Animal Rights Commission, a lawsuit has been filed to the Bolu Administrative Court with the principle number 2023/1206 regarding the request for the cancellation of the administrative transaction, which will result in the killing of 14 red deer planned to be hunted in Bolu province within the framework of the 2023-2024 hunting tourism season.”
In March 2023, a tender for hunting a total of 20 red deer in the central Anatolian provinces of Eskişehir, Afyonkarahisar, Denizli and Kütahya was cancelled by the Afyonkarahisar Administrative Court upon the application of Eskişehir Animal Protection Association under the grounds that it had not been demonstrated that hunting tourism will have positive effects on the protection of the red deer. The same month another hunting tender in Bolu that would have allowed the killing of 15 red deer was also cancelled upon an appeal by the Turkish Vegan Association.
On 23rd September, Bülent Akarcalı, the former health and tourism minister, expressed his disapproval of the recent tender issued by the Nature Conservation and National Parks (DKMP) agency. He stated, “The impact of hunting on tourism in Türkiye is not even one in a million. Even if it were, a foreigner coming and killing the rare animals in the country, which are already few in number, would turn Türkiye into the colonial countries of Africa in the 18th century.”