Content creator Meriç Izgi illegally bought three primates and pretended that they were the same animals. People thought they look cute but the truth was hidden from his Youtube, TikTok, and Instagram pages. After we have confiscated the primates, he was seen procuring another one the next day.
Anti-smuggling police raided Izgi’s home in Istanbul’s Sarıyer district and detained him for violating an international treaty against the smuggling of macaques. The monkeys have since been handed over to the local wildlife authority Asli Han Gedik, the founder of Wild at Life e.V., 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.
This was a very tough and long road as our organisation was targeted by criminals and hackers. We stand proud in making history in Türkiye, as never in history have wildlife traffickers been brought to justice and had all primates confiscated. Our campaign was pushed to the Turkish prosecutors and Merc Izgi has been indicted for wildlife trafficking and is facing jail time.
We are proud to have stopped wildlife trafficking and we have set an example for future traffickers. This will preserve wildlife where it belongs and no more primates would be trafficked into the country – truly a major milestone for biodiversity.