Tufan Hamarat / Izmir, June 29 () - A deputy police commissioner may face dismissal over two separate investigations into his shooting of a dog with a firearm on June 19 outside a police station in the Aegean province of İzmir. The investigations are ongoing, while the injured dog has been reported to be in good condition in an animal hospital.
İzmir Governor Mustafa Toprak said he was saddened by the shooting of a dog by a police officer, and that the deputy police commissioner, identified as M.A., who shot the dog should be dismissed.
“Punitive action should immediately be taken against the deputy police commissioner who mercilessly shot the dog… The bullet fired at the dog was fired at our society… The committed act is subjected to one of the biggest penalties in the Security Discipline Code. It is an act that leads to dismissal” he said.
Senem Demirel, an attorney from the İzmir Bar Association Animal Rights Commission, said on behalf of the bar they would watch the investigations launched by the local public prosecutor’s office over the complaints by animal rights activists.
“Two steps are to be made for the deputy police commissioner: a legal investigation and an administrative inquiry. The legal investigation has been launched over the allegation of ‘putting public security at risk.’ What else can be done within the legal investigation is to file a lawsuit against the deputy police commissioner over the allegation of ‘damaging private property.’ The dog is a stray dog; however, it has been fed and cared for by the police officers for three years now. So, it can be regarded as private property according to the Turkish Criminal Code [TCK]. As for the administrative inquiry, the İzmir governor has already said the act begets dismissal [of the deputy police commissioner]. We will also watch the administrative investigation” she said.
M.A., who started working as a group chief in a police station in İzmir’s Çiğli district about two weeks ago, shot Kurt Efe, one of the two stray dogs that have been cared for by officers at the police station for about three years, from a distance of two meters inside the police station compound on June 19.
M.A. saw Kurt Efe as the dog entered the compound, and then reportedly shot it in the leg after he took his official pistol from his police vehicle. The dog stumbled in a bid to escape the compound and M.A. drove away.
Yiğit Gülbağ, the owner of the private Metropol Animal Hospital, took the injured dog to the hospital, where it is reportedly in good condition.
Search teams were dispatched to the scene upon the order of İzmir Police Department head Celal Uzunkaya to collect evidence, including video footage recorded by the police station’s closed circuit security cameras. M.A. was on annual leave following the incident and his official pistol was seized by the local public prosecutor’s office.
M.A. said in his testimony in the local public prosecutor’s office he had pointed his pistol toward a blind side to check if it was working and that he did not see the dog.
In another recent dog shooting incident, video footage showed a man shot dead a dog in a construction site with a rifle in the northwestern province of Edirne on June 25 after he approached the site on a motorbike.
The man, according to the footage, collected the bullet casings and sped away after the shooting when the dog collapsed to the ground.