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Istanbul, the city that belongs to cats

on 11/02/2015

Istanbul cat

In this gigantic city that counts between 17 and 20 million inhabitants there is a group of residents who don’t pay taxes, eat in the street, enjoy human company and occupy a considerable amount of space: we are talking about the cats of Istanbul.
The kitty lovers will be spoilt here, there are cats everywhere and if you observe them you will get a good idea of the way the locals treat them.
Numerous municipalities have installed multi-storey “cat houses” where the small felines come for a nap or just to find a bit of peace and quiet.
Most locals feed and water them, even nurse them back to health if necessary and give them plenty of love and cuddles.
If the cats have indeed settled everywhere in the city, some areas welcome more than others. Cihangir near Taksim is undoubtedly one of the most popular districts among the small mammals.
Even some museums have their mascots, such as Hagia Sophia and its famous cat “Grey” who charmingly welcomes guests from all over the world. In Besiktas, near the magnificent new Naval museum, our four legged friends make their way between skateboarders and strollers.
The Nisantasi park located in the vicinity of the Military museum could well be renamed “Cat park” since so many of them live there permanently.
The cemeteries of Istanbul are also home to the kitties where they lie on the graves enjoying the sun and the quietness.
Along the Sea of Marmara on the Asian shore, around Caddebostan and Bostanci, the number of cats is again impressive.
In Kadikoy the Ozgurluk park (Liberty park) counts an important feline population, as well as numerous animal sculptures that will charm children and adults.
The Prince Islands off the coast of Istanbul are also a favourite spot for the cats because of the clean air (all motorized vehicles are banned) and the freshly caught fish.


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