A Turkish woman has won a landmark legal battle against the eviction of her pet cat, with a judge calling on people to show compassion to animals.
The administrators of a building in the north-western city of Bursa, where Aysegul Yetis once lived with her cat, Mavis, had filed a case against her saying that strays she fed within the complex were bothering other residents. A subsequent legal ruling said that the strays must be removed, and that Mavis must leave the building, too.
But now a civil court, reconsidering the case after an intervention from the Supreme Court, has ruled that people need to be more tolerant of the animals around them. "It is inhumane to be disturbed by small animals like cats being fed either in private or public spaces," the judge, Gokhan Turhan, said in his decision. "Love, care and mercy are universal rights and responsibilities which should be shared with all living creatures."
The decision is being hailed as a victory for cats and their owners, with the ruling setting a precedent for future pet eviction cases. But Ms Yetis says the process has left her emotionally and financially drained. She now lives in another city, where Mavis is the happy beneficiary of a garden. "It was not just a fight for my cat, it was a battle to ensure that other cats will not share the same fate," Ms Yetis said. "I would do anything for Mavis, but other people may not be able to afford to do that."