Turkey

Electric cars to replace carriages on Istanbul islands

Electric cars, bikes to offer 'more modern way' on Princes' Islands, says mayor in wake of culling of horses amid illness

Mucahit Turetken   | 23.12.2019
Electric cars to replace carriages on Istanbul islands

ISTANBUL

Horse-drawn carriages on Istanbul's Princes' Islands are a thing of the past, to be replaced by electric vehicles, said the city’s mayor on Monday.

The announcement followed the culling of 81 horses due to an outbreak of glanders, as well as charges of abuse by animal rights activists.

“Thirty-five symbolic carriages will remain” on the islands, Ekrem Imamoglu told a press conference in Turkey’s largest city.

“The carriages will be removed. It is clear,” he added.

As of next summer on the islands -- which only allow internal combustion engines for official vehicles -- transportation will be provided by electric vehicles, Imamoglu said.

Electric vehicles and bicycles will provide a “more modern way” on the islands, Imamoglu said, adding that the people who worked with horse-drawn carriages will not be “ignored”.

Last Friday, Istanbul’s governor banned the carriages for three months due to the disease outbreak, pledging health checks and the destruction of any unauthorized stables.

“We absolutely do not want any animal on the islands to live or be killed in bad conditions,” said Ali Yerlikaya.

The four Princes' Islands -- Buyukada, Heybeliada, Burgazada, and Kinaliada -- in the Marmara Sea are famed for their beauty as well as their lack of motor cars.

Horse-drawn carriages were especially popular with visiting tourists, but the poor conditions of around 1,500 horses on the islands have been criticized by animal rights groups.

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