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Combatting Wildlife Trafficking in Turkey

OECD – Global Forum on the Environment and Climate Change
7 July 2020
Aslihan Gedik was interviewed by Mercedes- Benz’s “Gelecek (Future) magazine
4 October 2020

Wild@Life collaborated with Turkish government to stop a Youtuber who is supporting wildlife trade repeatedly and abusing the primates he buys from smugglers. He has bought three primates so far and pretended that they were same monkeys. People thought they look cute together, but the truth was not like as it was seen on his Youtube, TikTok channels and Instagram account. 

Media has shown a great interest to Wild@Life’s fight against this crime. 

Below you can read the interview of Aslihan Gedik with Daily Sabah:

Wildlife trafficking recently made headlines in Turkey after a famous YouTuber was detained for smuggling of monkeys. The supply and demand chain needs to be broken to fight trafficking of wild animals, watchdog official says

There is not much difference between someone getting caught with an illegal mobile phone and someone getting caught with an illegal monkey, our mindset needs to change, founder of Wild at Life watchdog, Aslı Han Gedik told Daily Sabah Friday.

Wild at Life (stylized as “Wild@Life”) is an international nongovernmental organization (NGO) working in the fields of wildlife conservation, wildlife rescue, biodiversity protection, anti-poaching and human-wildlife conflict mitigation. The watchdog’s main area of expertise is combating illegal wildlife trade and wildlife trafficking.

“Laws need to impose prison sentences for animal traffickers and also the people who buy such animals. Fines need to get higher so it can scare people from committing the crime,” she said.

Smuggling of wild animals came under the spotlight in Turkey recently, as famous YouTuber Meriç Izgi, who faced an online backlash for exploiting monkeys in his videos, was detained for smuggling yet another primate into Turkey.

It was the third monkey seized from Izgi within months after the YouTuber was accused of separating macaque monkeys from their mothers and driving them to death.

 

Anti-smuggling police raided Izgi’s home in Istanbul’s Sarıyer district and detained him for violating an international treaty against the smuggling of macaque monkeys. The monkey has since been handed over to the local wildlife authority for care.

Gedik, who spearheaded efforts to bring legal charges against Izgi, thanked the officials of the General Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks (DKMP), which is a subdivision of the Turkish government’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

You can  see the full interview by Daily Sabah here.

Aslıhan Gedik also attended to Haber Global News to talk about this case and truths about wildlife trafficking and news presenter told her “We are so glad we have you” in Turkish:

Here is the full video of the related news of Haber Global.

Below there are some other coverages of this case on the media: