Theft of the Turkish Angora Cat Breed

The distinguished and important cat breed, the Turkish Angora, has been hijacked not once but twice. While the real Turkish Angora resides in Turkey the American cat fancy has created a new cat and given it the name “Turkish Angora”. It is not even a good replica of the original. It neither looks like the original nor has the same DNA as the original2. Yet, it has the same name. I have called this a “theft”. It is a theft of the name and what the name represents. It is a bit like stealing a trademark in the business sense.

The “new model” seems to correspond with what the American cat fancy calls “refined” which in this case appears to mean thinner. “Refined” means anything other than the original appearance because the original is too “ordinary”.

American Angora theft of Turkish angora
Photo of American Turkish Angora is copyright Helmi Flick. The real Turkish Angora photo is copyright Angora Cat Association, Turkey (ACA). Please don’t steal them……
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

The other hijacking of the name “Turkish Angora” is by the creators of a new breed of cat, the “Cyprus Aphrodite Giant”. This cat has been accepted and registered by the World Cat Federation (WCF), a European cat association. It has the same “genetic heritage” as the Turkish Angora and is identical to the “the true Turkish Van”1 but is called something else. This is a shoddy way to proceed.

In America, scientific research, using DNA testing into the genetic history of the cat breeds and their origins has fudged the differences between the “created” cat that Sarah Hartwell renames the “American Angora” and the real Turkish Angora. The reason? To rewrite the history of the breed and legitimise the new creation making it THE Turkish Angora, when it most definitely is not.

It seems that the scientists found genuine Turkish Angoras difficult to group and classify because they failed to fit in with their preconceived ideas of what the Turkish Angora should be, namely, the American version of the real thing.

A DNA sample from an Ankara Zoo cat named Minos, numbered 9575 in the 2012 Turkish Cat Genetics Study by L Lyons, et al, was found to be 74% pure Turkish Angora (Ankara kedisi) but obfuscated as a Cyprus Group cat. Unintelligibly, Lyons stated that this cat was difficult to group “because it has significant markers from several breeds”, but fails to explain why other cats some with less than 2% of the same Ankara kedisi marker were placed squarely in the Turkish Angora group. The answer is very simple. The Ankara kedisi marker do not correspond to her assumption that the American “Angora” fabrication is the legitimate Angora from the Zoo and cats with this marker were conveniently shunted into the Cyprus group. Other samples from the Ankara Zoo were likewise excluded as well as many cats from Turkey and Cyprus with very a high Ankara kedisi identification. You can read about them and an overall critique of this seriously flawed study on Sarah Hartwell’s site.

In the Lyons study under the heading “Materials and Methods”, the scientists write:

“…We obtained DNA samples of most breeds at cat shows and by request from cat owners in the United States. Korat, Turkish Angora, Turkish Van, and Siberian samples were acquired from the United States and Europe because these breeds have the same standards between continents…”

Am I missing something? Why didn’t they obtain DNA samples from Ankara Zoo in Turkey? I would like to hear from Harvey Harrison and the Angora Cat Association in Turkey on that subject, please. The reason may be a simple one; the scientists are stupid.

This is a difficult subject made all the more difficult when science appears to work with the cat fancy (deliberately or inadvertently) rather than in a totally objective way. I have to conclude, and I think it fair to say, that the cat fancy in America and probably elsewhere have not been faithful to the authenticity of the cat breeds. The cat fancy likes to use cat breed history to promote the cat breeds, especially the so called “natural breeds” but conveniently rewrites it. This creates what I have called the cat breed mashup.

People who care about cats would like to see clarity, accuracy and fair play in respect of the cat breeds. We need to be able to understand them better. When the breeds are mashed up in this fashion it dulls our enthusiasm for the breeds. This is bad management by the associations. In the long term it will work against them. It is also very unfair to the good people of the Angora Cat Association, Turkey (ACA), who look after the real and precious Turkish Angora.

Note: This is a tricky subject. I like accuracy and fair play. If I have made a mistake please tell me and I will amend it promptly.


  1. Reference: Sarah Hartwell’s
  2. There are very minor similarities.

Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

47 thoughts on “Theft of the Turkish Angora Cat Breed”

  1. “Why didn’t they obtain DNA samples from Ankara Zoo in Turkey?”

    Thank you all who published their comments here! DNA testing is the only respectful prove to find out the origin, in our case, of cats. Unless we receive explanations from Dr. Lyons concerning your above question, we may only offer our suggestions. Can anyone here answer the following questions: Is there any standard of Ankara Kedi officially adopted by Ankara Zoo? Is the data of breeding registries of Ankara Zoo anywhere officially published, if there are any breeding registries there? What is an official standard of Van Kedi of any Turkish cat fancy club or other organization? If you or others may reply here, it will be helpful for all parties interested.

    1. Hi Zara, I would contact the person who made this comment (click on the link please). They are the experts on the Turkish Angora in Turkey. You might get a response from them if you reply to their comment.

      There are US Turkish Angora breed standards of course. You’ll see them on the CFA and TICA websites. But as mentioned these standards are inventions by the US cat fancy and bear no resemblance to the real Turkish Angora.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  2. Harvey Harrison

    Thanks Michael. She is also a nice cat with comical and cute ways. She rolls on her side, licks her paws, and makes gurgling sounds when approached. Not bad for a cat that had a bad start in life in a Zoo.

  3. Harvey Harrison

    Just a couple of points to clarify some of L Lyon’s goofs. She states
    ”Similarly, breeds such as Siberians, a new breed, and Turkish Angoras, tend to resemble the random bred street cats of their populations of origin, Russia and Turkey, respectively”
    But no samples of street cat samples were ever submitted from Russia, and random-bred street cats from Turkey as per the phylogenetic tree in the published Ascent of the Cat Breeds, DO NOT show this claimed resemblance. L Lyons science is about as credible as Pres. Bush’s proof of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. She can’t remember what she wrote from one moment to the next.

  4. Harvey Harrison


    I refer to the controversy over the origins of the Persian breed. Very careful and prolonged research will reveal links between the original Turkish Angora and the Persian in the early days of it’s history. If this were the case then traces of this ancestry would still show up in the DNA of even the massively out-crossed modern Persian. We have seen the deliberate misnaming of the Ankara kedisi markers as “Cyprus” in the 2012 Turkish Cat Genetics Study in order to protect the integrity of the cat fancy created fake Turkish Angora, and therefore L Lyons would have had to look for the Cyprus marker in the Persians. Since she has completely left out the Ankara kedisi and Cyprus group cats in all her papers except for the unpublished 2012 study, a golden opportunity was lost. Only modern lines were reported which are quite damning enough but in so doing genetic evidence as to their ancient origins was stupidly squandered. Here is a photo of my Minos from the Ankara Zoo in her winter coat which shows where the Persian breed most probably originated.

    Minos - Persian cat

    1. Gorgeous cat by the way. A special cat. She looks like the original looked 😉 I don’t know why I believe that but she has an authentic look about her.

  5. Harvey Harrison

    ”The samples from the clinics were provided by the Turkish collaborator -who is a co-author on the paper. Likely the clinic gave them to him and then they came to me. The study is many many years old now”.
    We asked:”
    This statement from L Lyons provides more revealing information than is apparent at first glance. “The study is many many yeas old now”. This then suggests that there were no new samples from the Turkish collaborator for the 2012 Study. The samples from this one batch and supplier were apparently used in the 2005. 2007, and 2012 studies. Therefore the same samples were variously described as Turkish random-bred cats unrelated to the American Angora described as a Tunisian-E Mau mix in the earlier studies, but then identified as Turkish random-bred cats closely related to American Angoras in the 2012 study. This arrant nonsense gave rise to the ridiculous suggestion by Monica Lipinski that the Ankara Zoo authorities stocked the Ankara Zoo program with cats that had wandered to Turkey from Egypt and Tunisia. Later attempts to justify these contradictory results hold no water and are clearly irrational. The fact of tghe matter is that science was manipulated and laboratory samples juggled and misnamed to authenticated a fake as a genuine product.
    Analysis of these studies reveals much misconduct, shabby work, and poor thinking. Only the ignorant and those with ulterior motives find them convincing and factual.

      1. Thanks Sarah – P.S. the reason why your comment wasn’t published immediately is because when the programme running comments spots two links it holds the comment for moderation because it could be spam. There are a lot of spam comments on the internet as you know.

  6. Harvey Harrison

    “”We asked:
    ”When looking at the sample list we saw a number 9575 and next to this it
    was written ”import Ankara Zoo”.* *One sample statistically may not be
    the most significant, however it was shown that this sample has major
    influence from Cyprus. We are very surprised by this, because Ankara Zoo
    never imported its cats from Cyprus, but all of them came from Ankara streets*..”
    Lyons replied:
    ”The sample was sent to me and listed as from Ankara zoo. If others have not told the truth when submitting samples – I am not responsible. The study is only as truthful as those who sent samples”.””
    You can see here that L Lyon’s infers that the Ankara Zoo sample is falsified despite being submitted with the original documentation from the Ankara Zoo. Of course she will have conveniently forgotten about that pesky documentation but this is also a measure of her poor memory and thinking abilities. These deficiencies show up throughout the whole of her studies. Interestingly she has no qualms about accepting many many samples as legitimate without any corroborative documents and even from non-existent Veterinary clinics. Only samples from the Ankara Zoo and Turkish sources need 100% waterproof testimony. , but of course this is so that samples of genuine Turkish Angoras are effectively filtered out of the studies. What a horrible mind she has.
    Much to the chagrin of all the parties involved in this atrocious so-called scientific study, the truth is being told and it is encouraging to see that our observations are being upheld by respected experts in the field. In stark contrast much time and energy has been wasted on trying to convince a horde of mindless bigoted American and European fake Angora breeders by means of logic and the scientific principal, to no avail. I did my best to explain everything clearly but the fact remains. You cannot teach a donkey to do much more than eat straw and bray.

  7. Ankara Kedisi Derneği

    Please understand that the real Turkish Angora isn’t a concern of the (American) Turkish Angora breeders only. It also effects other cat breeds made from the real Angora: Turkish Van and Aphrodite Giants. As well, a false breed Van Kedisi, ”protected” by Turkish government in Van University.

    No one really benefits from the real Turkish Angora… It’s a ”street” cat found everywhere in Turkey, as well in Cyprus and some other neighboring countries.

    Cat fancy, especially CFA, TİCA which were part of L. A Lyons genetic studies do not want us to know the truth. Cat fancy benefits from the racism of Anatolian cats. And the scientists, like Leslie Lyons just tries protect this establishment.

    A well designed genetic study would be a really important step, however it’s difficult to find who would be willing to conduct such a study. The Pennsylvania University agreed to do the study only if we get it funded. On the other hand who would fund such a controversial study?
    Nobody wants to upset cat fancy…for some reason…
    Science should lead us to truth not to be used to for someone’s vested interests… But..

    1. Science should lead us to truth..

      I think that when science leads us to an untruth we are lost. Science should be hard, immutable fact. It is not in the world of cats.

      I don’t think the genuineness of a cat breed is a concern of the cat fancy. The cat fancy is not about truth or history or being faithful to the origin of cat breeds or cat types.

      It is about a group of people who like to play around with creating what they think are good looking cats. That is it. Nothing else really matters.

  8. Ankara Kedisi Derneği

    First, dear Michael, thank you very much for writing this article. We didn’t see when it was published, so our comments may be late.

    Thank you, Harvey Harrison for sharing all this important information which will be a good addition to the article.

    Harvey Harrison was involved in Leslie A. Lyons studies since the beginning. If not he I don’t think we would know about this horrible scientific misconduct.

    We are thankful for Sarah Harwell as well, who agreed to look at this matter seriously and published her conclusions about the Lyons studies in her website.

    Valley Girl, as we understood you are a scientist. Many good points, thank you for trying to explain the motives of scientists who choose falsify their studies..

    Lyons, in 2012 January unpublished study claimed:”The (American)Turkish Angora breed contains the most representative cats of Turkey”, although the data from 2007 published study completely disagrees with this interpretation where the American Angora is linked to Tunisian cats and Egyptian Mau – breeds which mainly originated from European random bred cats…

    The another study ”’Variation of cats under domestication: genetic assignment of domestic cats to breeds and worldwide random-bred populations” reveals that the American Angora is closer to Western (Europeanean,American) random bred cats and the genuine Turkish imports were ”assigned to the Eastern Mediterranean (group)” and ”STRs
    alone can differentiate about 24 of 29 breeds, in addition to
    Turkish- versus USA-originating Turkish Angoras.
    The paper however is written in the way that those sentences would be remain invisible fora a reader. Only carefully reading every sentence, one may notice these very important conclusions.

    And in the latest study Lyons & co loose their memory:
    ”Similarly, breeds such as Siberians, a new breed, and Turkish Angoras, tend to resemble the random bred street cats of their populations of origin, Russia and Turkey, respectively”

    Turkish random bred cats were not used in this study but from phylogenetic tree (figure 2) we clearly see that American Angora and Siberian both are from Western Western random bred cats!

    And the list goes on and on… We have to publish an article about all of these mistakes and how the real Turkish Angoras was ignored in all of these genetic studies in order to satisfy CFA/TİCA cat breeders.

    We would like to share some emails from Leslie A Lyons sent to Harvey Harrison and us (Harvey I hope you don’t mind).

    You may get a better impression what this geneticist is thinking…

    ”Sent: Tue, January 4, 2011 11:43:28 PM
    Subject: RE: Cyprus DNA samples Aphrodite, etc

    Hello Harvey and all,

    Sending to me emails that are just trashing other people and not offering other suggestions is not helpful.
    Note that you all want it for free.
    I will now make my own decisions on these samples based on what I know about cats in the region. (emphasis needed. L. A Lyons acts as breeds historian even when she has very little knowledge about this)

    I assume you four are working together and any other samples I have are not in your group.
    Thus, not all the samples will be run and I may not be selecting the samples you think most important.
    Best regards,
    Leslie A. Lyons, PhD
    Professor ”

    Another one. Harvey asks about the Ankara zoo cat sample:

    ”Date: Wednesday, January 4, 2012, 12:18 AM
    Sorry, forgot to attach.
    I can’t explain your cat.
    Best regards,
    Leslie ”

    We emailed Leslie Lyons personally and asked some questions about the study.

    We wrote: ” It was said from this report’s notes that samples were sent from Yeşilköy, Istanbul and Doğuş veterinary clinics. We tried to contact them, these clinics told to us they didn’t send any samples for any particular Angora and Van study. It’s very strange, why would they deny sending samples?*”

    ”The samples from the clinics were provided by the Turkish collaborator -who is a co-author on the paper. Likely the clinic gave them to him and then they came to me. The study is many many years old now”.

    We asked:
    ”When looking at the sample list we saw a number 9575 and next to this it
    was written ”import Ankara Zoo”.* *One sample statistically may not be
    the most significant, however it was shown that this sample has major
    influence from Cyprus. We are very surprised by this, because Ankara Zoo
    never imported its cats from Cyprus, but all of them came from Ankara streets*..”

    Lyons replied:
    ”The sample was sent to me and listed as from Ankara zoo. If others have not told the truth when submitting samples – I am not responsible. The study is only as truthful as those who sent samples”.

    We asked: ”Are Cyprus cats distinct breed? We read the published study ”The ascent of cat breeds: Genetic evaluations of breeds and worldwide random-bred populations” and didn’t find anything about Cyprus cats…*
    We are very confused…

    Lyons replied:
    ”The Cyprus cats were part on an extended study that is now in the stream on being published”. (the extended study was never ever published anywhere. Due to wrong interpretations It could never ever pass peer review. And Lyons knows that).

    Lastly she refused our help to send the Ankara Zoo samples for the study (and never responded our emails again):
    ”I am sorry – your persistent doubting of my science does not impress me. I will no longer accept samples from you and other Turkish breeders. If I get samples from the zoo, it will be via the zoo directly.
    Leslie Lyons” (8 June 2012 23:08)


    1. I think you guys are great. The more I know about you and the more I read what you write, the more I appreciate you.

      You are a breath of fresh air. It is a pleasure to write about the Turkish Angora in a realistic way.

      I feel sad that the real Turkish Angora is sidelined and parked so to speak on a back lot out of the way.

  9. Harvey Harrison

    Although L Lyons & Co seem to have the intention of scratching the backs of the cat fancy associations, who by the way are interconnected with the WINN Foundation, who provide much of the research funding, the outcome is detrimental to the reputation of all of those parties. There is obvious distortion and misinterpretation of scientific data for political and financial ends. This manipulation is so stupid and clumsy that it is obvious to any knowledgeable investigator and achieves the opposite result to that intended.

  10. Harvey Harrison

    I submitted samples for both the 2007 and 2012 studies and so am in a position to see these irregularities. In 2007 several of my cats were described as unrepresentative of the Turkish Van breed and were a mix of Exotic SH , Scottish, Fold, Maine Coon, etc which is very hard to believe. The 2012 study gave totally contrasting results with their kittens to either back up or contradict the results. The usefulness of these studies hinges on my Minos of Angorarama a documented and verified Ankara Zoo Angora who’s DNA matches that of other Turkish and hordes of Cyprus cats, but not that of the fake Angoras which are European “cuckoos”. This point plus the details in the raw data blew apart L Lyons & Co’s conclusions. Lyons did not grasp the importance my samples. Her conclusions are based on a few unverifiable and suspicious samples whereas verifiable data from trustworthy breeders was stupidly ignored, an inexcusable blunder that reduces the studies to junk status.

  11. Harvey Harrison

    Hi VG. There are also some variable and untrustworthy lab results which seem to have been changed in order to increase the head count of fake Angoras in Cyprus. One cat was first identified as 60% Maine Coon in the 2007 Study, and nearly 100% fake Angora in the 2012 study, but his kitten is miraculously an 88.7% Cyprus group/Ankara kedisi in the same 2012 study. There are others which swell the ranks of the fake Angoras which cannot be because siblings or patents are Ankara kedisi. There was a whole lot of data altering not only the faking of samples from Turkey.

    1. Yikes! From my brief read of the papers, cats were identified with numbers. So it seems that the description of the numbered cats changed.

  12. Harvey Harrison

    Hi Michael.
    “”There are obviously concerns that the university make not want to risk upsetting American cat registries. As the GCCF no longer recognise Turkish Angora as a breed, couldn’t a UK university undertake the DNA study instead since their findings wouldn’t risk offending our cat registry or any UK breeders?””
    My word they are so afraid of cat breeders in America!!
    It would be extremely useful to locate a British or European University willing to undertake a study of cat breeds in particular the Turkish breeds. I do not think we get justice from an American University. They are too concerned with with watching their backs and being politically correct.(and scratching each others backs). If anyone can suggest such a U please let me know. Pennsyvania U suggested there are very competent people in Turkey to do this work, but when asked for details, there was no reply. This was just fobbing us off.

    1. You are absolutely correct in your statements, thus ” I do not think we get justice from an American University. They are too concerned with with watching their backs and being politically correct.(and scratching each others backs)”. American universities are being turned into corporate entities, where the bottom line is $$$, often $$$ from research grants.

    2. It would be nice if a British Uni got involved. I’ll see where that suggestion leads to. I am surprised that the scientists are afraid of the breeders who run the cat fancy.

      I can’t really understand why. Perhaps it is more about protecting the establishment; protecting the status quo which is not very good.

      The cat fancy in the US have not done a great job of work. The Turkish Angora is but one example. The impossibly messed up Persian is another – genetically and anatomically.

      I guess the scientists are protecting the establishment, which is wholly incorrect. It will only serve to damage academia.

  13. Harvey Harrison

    Hi VG. Lyons work is full of things that don’t stand up to scrutiny. A close study will reveal many contradictions, assumptions taken as hard facts, omission of critical data, etc. I know her work like the back of my hand and it looks like a Gruyere cheese.

    1. Harvey, your experience sounds very similar to mine in doing scientific research on a totally different topic. One really does have to know the scientist’s work in great detail, and have a heartfelt reason for such examination. Sadly, speaking from my experience, it’s very hard to get people to pay attention the details.

      However, your efforts to reveal the bad data, and so forth might well have better success than mine. I truly hope so. Keep at it.

  14. Harvey Harrison

    Hi VG. In Lyons’ et al work on Turkish cats there is a serious flaw right from the beginning. That is the assumption that CFA and TICA registered Turkish Angoras and Vans are true and legitimate examples of those breeds. Both of these breeds are clearly identified by the CFA and TICA as natural breeds which still occur in their country of origin, Turkey. In particular the foundation of the Turkish Angora breed are cats from the Ankara Zoo. Verifiable samples of Ankara Zoo cats were deliberately omitted, or not identified as such, or misnamed, in order to remove them as the control for identifying the breed. The only attempt to legitimise the DNA signature of the American Angora was by means of fabricating random bred cat samples from Turkey. These samples cannot be verified and one claimed donor denies sending any and the other does not exist. This is a case of falsifying evidence in order to support an otherwise unprovable assumption. This is hardly ethical nor in accordance with accepted scientific methodology. This is junk science warped to please the American cat fancy, and truth consequently takes a back seat.

  15. Harvey Harrison

    Hi Michael & VG. Ankara Kedisi Dernegi will probably explain better than me the real reasons why this scientific work was seriously distorted to favour the cat fancy fakes.
    Regarding the American Angora, this is a case of stealing both the name and the history of a cat still in existence in it’s country of origin.
    The Cyprus Aphrodite is a case of stealing the actual cat itself, giving it a new name and a new history.
    They invented the story of it developing in the mountains of Cyprus where it grew very big by eating lizards (lizards must be a miracle food) when in all probability there are few lizards in the cold mountains as they prefer the hot coastal regions being cold-blooded creatures. Cyprus was part of the Ottoman Empire for over 300 years. It never occurred to them that the Turks may have brought their Turkish Angoras with them. Anyone with a pair of eyes in their head can see that Cyprus and Turkish cats are the same. This of course is very difficult for them to understand because everyone knows the Turkish Angora is a small skinny cat, isn’t it? Ha, but the cat fancy Angora is not Turkish at all. This is how one lie leads to another.

  16. These are some comments from Valley Girl (VG) a colleague of mine. She made these points in an IM conversation recently:

    Scientists can be very blinkered and self- serving. My best guess at present is that she discarded data that 1) didn’t fit her view of things and 2) would be way too difficult to explain in the context of “cat breeds” as they are generally understood in the US. My guess is that she just avoided the complicated topic of “Turkish Angoras” in favor of the seemingly more simple history of all the rest of the breeds considered.

    I suspect that she just wasn’t up to taking on the “Turkish Angora challenge”, because it doesn’t fit into a simple picture.

    Scientists are very capable of misrepresenting data, for any number of reasons.

    Sometimes ego driven and blinkered, sometimes for the purposes of outright fraud (I’ve seen this in my field, but I don’t think that is what she was doing), all things in between.

    The whole issue of choosing which data to keep and which to discard is a continuing topic of scientific discussion.

    1. Michael, thanks for adding my words. As to Leslie Lyons committing outright fraud, that’s something I’d have to look at more closely, and try to absorb earlier comments by Harvey. I’ve certainly seen it happen in my field, where I found two papers that used the very same microscope images, but described them in totally different ways to serve the purpose of the author. That was scientific misconduct. But, very difficult to spot unless one is paying very careful attention to small details.

      1. Thanks for that VG. I am sure fraud is rare because it must be difficult to hide it and when discovered the reputation of the scientist is damaged.

        1. Actually, Michael, I don’t have a good sense of how often fraud occurs. It’s often committed in ways that are actually very easy to hide, or that’s my guess. Deal is scientific papers, such as the ones I sent you (via the list from Hartwell) they are sent out for peer review before being accepted for publication. And, that generally works. The only reason I spotted the two papers using the same images is because it was very very closely tied to my work, and to a peer reviewer with only general knowledge, not something they would spot. It would be very unlikely that a peer reviewer would have the time to go back and look at the author’s previous papers, and spot a figure that was being reused in a fraudulent way.

          And, that relates to my own difficulties in science. I found results that totally contradicted the claims of a major scientist, but it was it was a “relatively minor” problem in the global sweep of his work. Saying someone is wrong about something that most people don’t even care about doesn’t help advance one’s scientific career.

          And, it has to be a very very extreme issue to damage the reputation of a high profile scientist. And, there has to be a lot of damaging evidence. Such as someone in their lab, whose results they took at face value, fabricated a huge amount of data, via laboratory notebooks, etc. This is what down David Baltimore. Or that the scientist was in charge of fabricating data. That is what brought down a Korean researcher who willfully invented data on stem cell studies. Otherwise, small problems are ignored or forgiven as “simple mistakes”.

  17. This is a really interesting topic and one that deserves much further examination and research. I read Sarah Hartwell’s article on DNA studies and note she mentioned that Turkish breeders have been asking the Pennsylvania University to undertake a new study using DNA samples from the Ankara Zoo and other locations in Turkey as the Turkish Angora control to compare to the “imposter” breeds. There are obviously concerns that the university make not want to risk upsetting American cat registries. As the GCCF no longer recognise Turkish Angora as a breed, couldn’t a UK university undertake the DNA study instead since their findings wouldn’t risk offending our cat registry or any UK breeders?

    1. I’ll see if I can do some work on getting a Brit Uni involved.

      You say:

      As the GCCF no longer recognise Turkish Angora as a breed

      Do you know why?

      1. Again I have to credit Sarah Hartwell’s wonderful Messybeast web site as the source of my comment. In her article on Longhaired Cats she explains that by WW2 the Angora was extinct in Britain. Turkish cats were imported into Britain during the 1950’s and 1960’s but only Van cats were bred and recognised as a breed. In 1977 a breed known as the Angora was recognised by the GCCF, but in reality the cat was a foreign longhair. In 2002 they renamed it the Oriental Longhair to avoid confusion with the original Angoras from Turkey.

        The possibility of importing true Angoras from Turkey was considered. However a combination of the compulsory 6 months quarantine required in those days and the alleged scepticism of the GCCF regarding the documentary evidence provided by Ankhara Zoo put paid to any potential plans to reintroduce The Turkish Angora as a breed in the UK.

        1. I find that last paragraph interesting. It is another example of poor management of the cat breeds. The GCCF seems a bizarre organistion to me – very defensive and stultified. You know I asked Sarah Hartwell (who I admire too) if she would agree to do a video interview and she refused because she is a scientist governed by the Official Secrets Act, she said. She works for a government organisation. I found that interesting too. There are photos of her on her website and they are quite risque. You probably were not aware of that.

          1. I was actually an engineer working for a defence company (that has MoD contracts) and my employer got touchy about staff being interviewed unless everything was vetted and baby-sat. I recently moved on from that role after spending my working life in that field. As for the photos – I used to do modelling for a local photographic club!

            1. Thanks Sarah. Sorry if I annoyed you but it does prove I have visited your site in its entirety including the buses, which I enjoyed. As for your pictures I like them. You look good in them, which is one reason why I wanted to interview you on video.

              Actually, I think a lot of people would like to see you 😉 You’re quite famous, you know, in the cat world and probably beyond. You should let me do an interview and if you like take a nice still photo of you, if a video is too much.

              All that said, I totally respect your privacy and any other reasons for not wanting to do a video interview.

                1. Messybeast has the best page on the Turkish Angora. Harvey Harrison, a Turkish Angora breeder in northern Cyprus, who you probably know, recommends it. Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed by me in an email. I’ll prepare some questions. I am pleased is back online. Great website.

                  1. I’m sorry, I see this is an old conversation, but I have read the messybeast article and just about everything that I can find on the subject. I want to get my cat’s DNA tested b/c I think it’s interesting. We we’re told she is Angora, and the vet thinks she is a Van. I have also found that it is very common for people to assume that odd eyes, automatically means Van. Every other possible characteristic about her is perfectly Angora. What I am not sure of is, if I send a sample to U.C. Davis, will they tell me that she is a Cyprus cat or a street cat, b/c she doesn’t fit their definition?

                    1. Sorry, Leigh, I don’t know how UC Davis will react to your request. I wish I could help. If you have a photo you can email me on: mj********@gm***.com

                      I have a page about the Angora being the same as the Van which may interest you.


                      I think they are essentially the same. They are the same in Turkey because they are street cats. The breeders separated them to allow them to create a new breed. That is my opinion.

  18. Harvey Harrison

    PS. The real Turkish Angora is a very impressive cat. The fake is an unattractive skimpy cat by comparison. This just goes to outline how much out of contact the cat fancy is with the original Angora. Furthermore there are several breeds that look similar to the fakes such as the Balinese and the Javanese. I don’t see the point in yet another look-alike.

  19. Harvey Harrison

    Hi Michael. Several Ankara Zoo samplres were sent for the 2012 study. Only my Minos was clearly mentioned but she was shunted into the Cyprus cat category. At least 2 more Ankara Zoo samples were submitted. One from a breeder in New Zealand which was not included, and another from Holland which was not identified or possibly not used. Several samples from Marmaris were sent and examined. they showed very high Ankara kedisi markers but likewise she did not consider them to be Turkish Angoras because they conflicted with the crazy assumption that the American cats are legitimate. Many samples were sent from Cyprus with extremely high Ankara kedisi markers, up to 98% purity in many cases and none less than 52% (just one cat). These samples would prove a great embarrassment to her pseudo-science and any trick was deemed good enough to shunt them aside but in doing so she lost all credibility.

  20. Harvey Harrison

    Hi Michael Of course these samples from the real Angoras prove very difficult for Leslie the l..r to assimilate. Her way of accommodating them is extremely clumsy. Is it possibly that she is unaware that the Turkish Angora breed originated in the Ankara Zoo and that to authenticate the cat fancy Angoras they have to be compared against samples from the Zoo? If she is ignorant of this critical fact then she has no right to say anything at all about Turkish Angoras. It gets even more farcical when one of her students, Monica Lipinski, postulates that Tunisian and Egyptian cats may have found their way to Turkey via trade routes as an explanation for why the cats they assume to be Angoras have genetic markers of Tunisian street cats and the Egyptian Mau but no Turkish markers. So these pseudo-scientists who do not even know that an assumption or hypothesis must be proven before any conclusions can be drawn, now venture into the realm of cat historians, and unashamedly rewrite the history of the Turkish Angora so as to fit their own flawed scientific work.
    Instead of seeing these findings as disproving the legitimacy of the cat fancy Angoras, they resort to transparent infantile juggling and misinterpretation of data and facts. The Ankara kedisi markers show very strongly in Cyprus cats because they are descended from Ankara cats, not the other way round. To keep the myth intact she comes out with the ludicrous conclusion that Ankara Zoo and Turkish cats are Cyprus cats. This is frankly insane. Worst of all we have proof that Lyons used fabricated DNA samples of non-existent cats supposedly from Turkey which match exactly the DNA markers of the cat fancy fake Angoras. How convenient! She did not foresee that someone would take to trouble to ask the Veterinary clinics thus named as donors of samples and find out that they either don’t exist or deny sending samples. This junk science is exactly what the cat fancy wanted but failed to realise that it was so badly done that a 10 year-old child could see through the fairy stories.

  21. Excellent Michael. I have been reading Harvey and ….? website alot these days. I think this little article succinctly points out a very important thing to be considered and hopefully read by alot of the right people. Somebody searching google should find it by way of searching the breed name because you have named the page as such. Good idea. However I am not sure how many people will still put down big money for a fake TA cat just because thats what they want to do. At least we can plant a seed of truth. Having said all that its hard not to suspect, once again, the scientist, who always seem to be easily swayed. Perhaps the CFA has said ‘please make us a study of some kind to back up our product’ – because afterall there is money and ego deeply involved in this potential battle. They need to keep their product in demand and like a corporation, will probably go to imoral lengths to do it. Am I being cynical?

    I am not sure – I may be wrong but the general pattern of big enterprises in the world today is that they have no shame and no moral compass. So I will make the assumption that this is once again the case. Sorry if I’m wrong. There are too many things that are wrong about these ‘products’. The thing which sticks out like a sore thumb and makes all purveyors of these products deplorable to the point of being abusive is the fact that they make defective products. Since the product is a living thing I personally feel these people should net be allowed to put their hands on animals in the first place. It’s a very simple and logical calculation. I’m not trying to sound above or anything, it’s just a fact. To ignore that fact of defectiveness, in my opinion, is to cross a line that should never ever be crossed. There are many more reasons why it shouldn’t be crossed like the fact that we don’t need more cats of any kind until the shelters are empty.

    Am I being harsh? How do these people ignore the fact that they cause pain and suffering for cats with inherited diseases? That’s not rhetorical, I genuinely want to know. I think money and pretty (living) things with high status make people blind. I wonder what they think when they read articles like these. I would bet they purposefully ignore them. Ignorance is the key to success in monetary terms because money can only be made in continuance if morals can be broken.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

follow it link and logo

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

I welcome and value comments. Please share your thoughts. All comments are currently unmoderated.

This blog is seen in 199 of the world's country's according to Google Analytics which is pretty much the entire world.

Scroll to Top