Turkish man breeds expensive greyhounds for Gulf countries

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 30.08.2017 15:25
Updated 30.08.2017 17:30
emDHA Photo/em
DHA Photo

A man living in southeastern Turkey's Şanlıurfa has been breeding and selling greyhounds for the last five years.

Abbas Öztürk, whose interest in greyhounds came from his father, began breeding the dogs as a hobby.

After Öztürk learned that greyhounds, which are known for participating in horse-like races, could be sold for a significant sum of money, he built a shed for the dogs.

"Before, I was hunting for rabbits with our local greyhounds. Then those who came from Syria told me that these dogs were very valuable, so I sold them for a sizable amount," Öztürk said, adding that it inspired him to begin breeding the dogs.

For the last five years, Öztürk has been selling the purebred canines to dog aficionados in Gulf countries, including Qatar and United Arab Emirates (UAE). Prices vary between 40,000-200,000 Turkish liras ($11,600-$58,000).

He sold one "very fast and active," dog named White Lightning for $58,000.

"I spend more time with greyhounds than with my own children. I feed [the dogs] at least three times a day. I give them meat, milk and formula," the father of three said.

Before Öztürk started his greyhound business people in Şanlıurfa found his love for the animals odd and chided him for it.

"Now they try to breed greyhounds like me. There are special contests for our greyhounds in countries like Qatar, UAE and Saudi Arabia. The winners receive grand prizes. Local greyhounds are quite fast, they can run with a speed of 62 kmph (38.5 mph)," he said.

Öztürk, who keeps his pricey dogs under constant video surveillance, said he aims to build a track for greyhound races in Turkey.

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