Oh the friends you will meet walking down the street…
If you are walking in town you are bound to cross paths with a kedi or kitten. They seem to be at every turn, brushing your feet while you eat in an outdoor café, jumping up on the park bench as you wait for the bus, and even in the most unusual places. Always be on the look out for furry friends. Like cats, you will also find dogs roaming the streets. The Turkish government has a program where they tag the dogs and make sure they receive required vaccinations. The dogs tend to have a “home” on a particular street and the storekeepers are seen feeding and showing affection to our four legged friends. Like cities all around the world, the pandemic has caused stores to be closed and restaurants to have limited opening times resulting in less food being provided to the stray cats and dogs. Reported in the Daily Sabah, the Interior Ministry has called upon the local governments to aid in helping the stray cats and dogs by leaving food in designated areas on a regular basis.
I remember walking through Alacati on a beautiful October day. It was one of those perfect weather days, not hot, not cold and the air had that fall crisp feel. The town was empty of people, but unbeknownst to us, we had our own tour guides greet us at the top of the town square. Those two dogs ended up staying with us as we walked and explored the tiny streets of Alacati. It was as if they were eager to show us their beloved town. I am sure they also wanted a tip at the end for spending their time and extending their hospitality. If you are more curious about the cat culture of Turkey, I recommend the documentary Kedi. It is a beautiful film portraying the life of cats in Istanbul.
Below I have compiled a gallery of cats and dogs throughout Turkey that I hope will bring you joy.