First animal hospital rebuilt in Bursa .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} BURSA - The first animal hospital in Turkey, built during the Ottoman Empire, was in Bursa, on the southeastern coast of the Marmara and the first Ottoman capital. The hospital was built in the 19th century and named "Gurabahane-i Laklakan," which means "helpless stork house" in old Turkish. The hospital was first established to save the storks in need and then turned into an animal hospital.

The construction of the hospital was started by the support of Osmangazi Municipality of Bursa. The hospital, which was demolished because of a lack of care, was once explained by famous writer Ahmet Haşim as the place for disabled animals, broken winged storks and senile crows.

The mayor of Osmangazi municipality, Recep Altepe, said the hospital symbolizes the importance the Ottomans gave to animals. "While the world was still discussing the human rights issues centuries ago, Ottomans built a hospital for migrating birds," said Altepe.

He said they enacted legislation for animal rights and the vets healed birds at Gurabahane-i Laklakan. "We should be proud of this goodwill. It is our duty to maintain it," Altepe said.

The municipality purchased the historic construction, a good example of architecture among old buildings, located next to the Irgandı Bridge, to open the hospital on a 350-square-meter plot.

The project prepared for the three-story building is ready and once the restoration is complete, the place will serve as a social facility as well as a hospital. A part of the building will be allocated for research on animal treatment and health and the first floor will be vet’s offices and surgery rooms. The back garden will be constructed as an auxiliary building.