170 horses died on the Islands in 2019


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Despite all the reactions in Istanbul Adalar, the deaths of horses that are worked on the carriages continue. According to the records of the Islands Municipality, approximately 170 horses died in Büyükada in the remaining 8.5 months of 2019. Most of the horses that died in Büyükada are buried by the Islands Municipality on the land adjacent to the municipal workshop in front of the Aya Nikola church. On the other hand, horses that die from time to time in areas such as Tepeköy and Yörükali, near stables, in some forest areas or in old dumps are buried informally. When the dead horses buried indifferently and left in the sea or the forest are added, a number beyond the official data is reached.

Based on stories by Emre Deveci of Cumhuriyet; While the leading cause of horse death is overwork, besides natural deaths and deaths from rheumatoid arthritis, nearly 300 horses used for tourism purposes die each year. Ömer Süvari of the Defense of the Islands said that according to data provided by the municipality that carried out the horse burials, this number could have exceeded 400 depending on the evolution of the disease.

In the islands, the horses run on high slopes which are not suitable for their carrying capacity, sometimes with excessive weight and always on paved roads. Overexertion in these conditions causes injuries in some horses or diseases such as laminitis. The traffic created by heavy bicycles, battery-powered vehicles, people, and other phaetons also makes phaetons vulnerable to accidents involving horses. Horses that are injured and unable to work cannot be treated. Because there isn’t even a veterinarian on the Islands.


President of the Chamber of Bodybuilders Hidır Unalcomplained that although the islands have the highest number of horses per square meter in the world, there is no veterinarian, ambulance or equestrian hospital specializing in horses. Unal said that when horses are injured on the job, they transport them on their own. Ünal said most horse deaths occur during the summer months.


Süvari, on the other hand, pointed out that the number of horses, which drops to 500 during the winter months, can exceed 1000 in the summer, and that at least 400 new horses are needed each year, as explained by the Bodybuilder’s room. , “In other words, the number of horses that died in the previous season or died in the previous season each year. Horses that cannot work are replaced with new ones.”
Horses are smuggled into the islands in front of everyone. Due to the disease, new horses were banned from being brought to the islands on the initiative of the Islands District Governorate in 2017. The president of the Chamber of Carriage Drivers, Ünal, confirmed that the registrations of horses continue despite the ban.


Ömer Süvari from the Defense of the Islands said: “At the point where civilization and humanity have reached today, all the cultural elements of the past and the negative practices of the past are ‘cultural heritage’ and so on. It is out of the question for us to confess with names,” he says. Süvari’s suggestion is as follows:

“The culture of the islands is based on walking, cycling and encounters on the road. Removing all motor vehicles from the islands, with the exception of electric public vehicles and small electric public transport vehicles that will serve the elderly and the sick, will also go a long way to solving the current chaos.


Horses are quarantined and killed by injection when transmissible diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis are detected during checks carried out twice a year by the Directorate of Agriculture. According to information provided by Süvari, horses are killed in exchange for a “slaughter price” paid to their owners, because diarrhea is a very dangerous and almost incurable disease that threatens public health and can also infect humans.
An average of 150 horses were killed per year in 2015 and 2016, but the decision to ban entry of horses in 2017 significantly reduced the incidence of diarrhoea. But this time, the number of horses killed or injured due to overwork has increased due to the low number of horses.

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