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Istanbul Dolphinarium - New

Istanbul, Turkey
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Istanbul Dolphinarium - New

Hi all,

today Istanbul has a new attraction for young visitors, both foreigners and locals: a Dolphinarium. It was built by world famous Moscow Dolphinarium and opened in Eyup district just on the shores of the Golden Horn. The Municipality says that it's the "biggest dolphins show center in Europe". It has souvenir and toys shops and there will be marine biology classes for the youngsters too. Kids will also have a chance to swim with the dolphins.

The entrance is 20 Turkish Liras. I'm planning to visit it soon.

Burak

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1. Re: Istanbul Dolphinarium - New

Iigunder

Good idea. When you'll go tell how it is. Talking about attraction in Istanbul, I've one question for you (or for all the ones who know it) , as I ll be in Istanbul with my girlfriend end of december : where is Miniaturk ? Is it open in december ? Is it only for kids or also worth a visit for adults ?

Thanks a lot and good night !

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Miniaturk
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Perrysburg, Ohio
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2. Re: Istanbul Dolphinarium - New

I'm sure it will be a big hit for visitors of all ages. I've visited several dolphinariums in the Caribbean and some of them were absolutely horrible in terms of living conditions for the dolphins. I know the worst of the worst have been closed down and that dolphinariums have improved tremendously since their early days, but I guess I just have a natural aversion to confining those beautiful creatures in any way. But they definitely are popular with visitors, no matter where they're located.

Will be interested in hearing your feedback about the place, Burak!

Istanbul, Turkey
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3. Re: Istanbul Dolphinarium - New

İnteresting that it boasts of being the largest in Europe-the one in Kusadasi(Adaland)says the same as does the newly opened Sealanya in Antalya.İt is cheap-much cheaper than the others but the thought of it still makes me shudder.How can they charge so little?Poorer facilities?Or subsidised by the beldiye to the detriment of other important services?Just call me a cynical old thing....

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4. Re: Istanbul Dolphinarium - New

As someone who works in animal welfare, I do not think it is good news at all.

Certainly the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) categorise the keeping of dolphins in captivity in dolphinariums as a form of animal abuse - and thankfully, as a result of this and other legislation, the last one in the UK closed in 1993.

A quote from WSPA says "Dolphins are highly social animals, who in their natural ocean habitat, swim together covering distances up to 100 miles per day. A tank in a dolphinarium cannot compare to a dolphin’s natural oceanic surroundings and the stress of captivity can weaken their immune systems.

Half of the world’s captive dolphins die due to the cruelty of their capture and confinement, with intestinal disease, chlorine poisoning and stress-related illness among the causes of death."

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society are also very concerned about the rise of captive dolphins in Turkey. A recent statement from them said: "WDCS has been calling on the Government of Turkey to cease captures of dolphins in its own waters of the Mediterranean, following an approval by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs to allow the capture of 30 dolphins for dolphin assisted therapy or shows. At a meeting of the Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, which prohibits the capture of dolphins and to which Turkey is a Party, its representative reported the capture of 23 dolphins, saying no further captures would take place. WDCS is therefore very concerned at the news that the aquarium industry in Turkey continues to exploit wild dolphin populations with this recent import of wild caught dolphins from the world’s bloodiest live dolphin capture, the Japanese drive hunt."

Interestingly the WDCS also are calling for a ban on all Dolphin Assisted Therapy as it has been shown to be potentially harmful for both animals and children (both from risk of infection (normally form the children to the dolphins), injury and stress.

So I will not be visiting it.

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Ankara, Turkey
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5. Re: Istanbul Dolphinarium - New

Maybe they play on the fact that both Kuşadası and Antalya are officially in Asia, when boasting to be the biggest. Or maybe they are the biggest.

Miniaturk is definitely worth adults' time, but I don't know where it is (I've been to the smaller one in Antalya).

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Antalya
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6. Re: Istanbul Dolphinarium - New

You can find the location here

www.miniaturk.com.tr/eng/default.asp?git=13

We were told that we could get a bus there form Eminonu (it is on our list for next time too)

Kas
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7. Re: Istanbul Dolphinarium - New

I was so saddened to read this post.

I cannot believe that in this day and age intelligent people are still deriving pleasure from watching dolphins in captivity performing tricks.

For a dolphin, being kept in a dolphinarium, is nothing short of a prison sentence. These magnificent mammals cover vast areas of water in their daily lives. They are also extrememly social.

What right have we to imprison them like this?

I thought we had moved on from Victorian times, where it was considered OK to capture and humiliate animals.

Like GonetotheDogs - I shall not be visiting it, nor any other such similar establishment.

Mount Dora, Florida
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8. Re: Istanbul Dolphinarium - New

Miniaturk is certainly something I would recommend. It is quite easy to reach via city bus. On the other side of the Galata Bridge across from the Spice Bazaar there is an area where there are lots of city buses.

I think the number of the bus to Miniaturk is #47, but you should check with someone there to make sure. You just get on the bus, and watch for the Miniaturk stop. It is some distance from the starting point, but it does stop right at the curb of Miniaturk. When you finish you can return to the bus stop and get back to Emminonu the same way.

It is a very interesting display. Be sure to see the laser show as well as the small museum honoring Ataturk at the end of the Miniaturk display.

My only complaint about this lovely facility is that there are no benches anywhere in the display. One is forced to remain on one's feet the entire time, which was impossible for me. The day we went to Miniaturk was the most exhausting day of our entire trip. It also has some of the cleanest public restrooms I have ever seen anywhere.

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9. Re: Istanbul Dolphinarium - New

Well I'm another one who won't be going anywhere near the place. It's a very good idea to give marine biology clases, but it's a bit like Amnesty International giving lectures on the freedom of the individual whilst running a concentration camp for additional entertainment.

Mount Dora, Florida
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10. Re: Istanbul Dolphinarium - New

About the Dolphins.....I am of two minds. I hate the idea of these magnificent creatures confined in ways that seriously limit their ability to be happy and content.

On the other hand, I love visiting Sea World here in the US. I credit our Sea World attractions with providing information to millions of people and therefore impacting environmental policy for oceans, and the species that live in them.

Our Sea World also employs many highly educated and trained people who engage in research, and it is a refuge facility for dolphins and other marine wildlife that have been injured. The information they have gained about marine wildlife is exceptionally valuable, and some of it could not have been completed in open water.

Admission to Sea World is about $70/person, and they do not operate with a profit as they are owned by the German company that purchased Anahauser Bush. (You can tour a beer-making plant and get two free glasses while at Sea World).

The construction of the facility in Orlando took years, and involved some very complex designs to create the proper "sea water" environment.

I worry that the inexpensive admission to the dolphin exhibition in Istanbul may suggest that they do not provide optimum facilities for marine wildlife.

Even in what I consider to be great living conditions, I still have one daughter who will not go to Sea World (or any type of zoo) because she has strong moral objections to the entire concept of keeping any animal in a cage. I certainly respect and understand her viewpoint as I understand Gonetothedogs objections as well.

We have a several attractions with dolphins that people can have in Florida. There is a "swim with the dolphins" attraction. The dolphins are contained in a specific area while people swim with them, as it would not be a good idea for a dolphin to drag a marginal swimmer into the open ocean. However, the containment area is open all night and a few times during the day. The dolphins are free to leave when they wish to go, and all of them come and go from the containment area. It is amazing to me that these animals seek human encounters of their own free will. This facility has been especially beneficial to children and even adults with learning disabilities. The dolphins somehow seem to be able to sense that these individuals need a bit of extra help and attention.

Yet another dolphin encounter takes people in boats into open water where dolphins are regularly found. Visitors can snorkle and scuba dive around them while the animals stay within their natural habitat. Of course, this experience requires that a person be a good swimmer, and if scuba-diving, a person has to hold a scuba certificate.

Swim-with-dolphin programs are very expensive, starting at $200 and going up. I have done none of these. I prefer our pool where there is no competition from natural creatures, except when we forget and leave the gate open and the alligator in the pond behind our home comes for a swim, but that is another story.

I suspect that we will not visit the new Dolphin exhibit unless we get some glowing reviews on the forum, but I do hope it is a first class facility that puts the needs of the dolphins ahead of profit earning or visitor satisfaction.

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