Street animals in Istanbul – homes and food

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Street animals in Istanbul – homes and food

I have already mentioned before that Istanbulites love and respect all animals - without limits. Even after years, I cannot help but be touched by the beautiful way Istanbulites take care of the animals living on their streets. In this post, you catch a glimpse of this compassion through photos of homes and food offered to street animals.

Love, caring, and compassion

The love for animals among Istanbulites is extraordinary, and I dare say it applies to everyone. Love is generally abundant from people to all animals, and it is reciprocated.

All parties take care of street animals: the city, municipalities, authorities, police, businesses, grocery stores, restaurants, cafes, housing cooperatives, residents, maintenance workers, guards, and individuals of all ages.

I wonder if this love for animals might even be genetic for Istanbulites. I’ve pondered this because my one-year-old grandchild already demands that we take street cats in our pushchair when we go out. His joy knows no bounds if there are two cats, one in the pushchair basket and the other perched on his shoulders.

All the entities mentioned above collaborate in taking care of street animals. Homes are built for animals, and they are fed regularly. Street animals are often vaccinated, and they are taken to the veterinarian when necessary. Not to mention the amount of cuddling and petting they receive…

Now, let’s get to know the life of Istanbul’s street animals with accompanying photos.

Homes and food for street animals in Istanbul, Turkey.
This serene spot for cats, with diverse services, is located next to the entrance hall of a modern skyscraper. Both residents of the housing complex and a company called PETihtiyac, whose slogan is “Show her your love…” (Ona sevgini göster…), take care of the cats. The company functions as both an animal clinic and a pet food store, offering a wide range of products.

Homes

Home for street animals in Istanbul, Turkey.
Sometimes an animal’s home is so luxurious that only a few of us humans can afford similar. Here is a cat’s home on the shores of the Marmara Sea with a view of the Princes’ Islands (Adalar).
Home for street cat in Istanbul, Turkey.
This home, built by an individual, is for Sylvester the cat and is located on the windowsill of an apartment building’s ground floor.
Home for street animals in Istanbul, Turkey.
The “mavi” clothing store chain’s vision of a modern home for a street animal.
Homes for street animals at Sirkeci Station in Istanbul, Turkey.
Even from the historic Orient Express station in Sirkeci, you can find a home if you are a street animal. In this case, even two private houses including meals.
Home for street animals in Istanbul, Turkey.
Modern technological advancements don’t have to diminish our humanity and our capacity to love. This home for two animals has a sign that says “Friendship. It begins when you reach out.” (Dostluk. Ulaşınka başlar.)  What a wonderful welcome to a shared home!
Home for street animals in Istanbul, Turkey.
The color scheme of this home and garden matches. From a small sign, you can tell that this home, along with water and food, is provided by the Kadıköy municipality on the Asian side of Istanbul.
Homes for street animals in Istanbul, Turkey.
Living in these park homes is harmonious for everyone – through cooperation and friendship.
Home for street cats in Istanbul, Turkey.
Would a colorful and fun design house on a modern street be a better choice instead of a park home?
A two-story townhouse for street cats in Istanbul, Turkey.
Or perhaps a more traditional two-story townhouse would be the best choice after all?

Food

When genuine compassion is involved, animals aren’t distinguished; food is distributed equally to everyone.
Food for street cats in Istanbul, Turkey.
Food is often brought regularly to specific places and at specific times for street cats, so they clearly know to gather for their meal. Here, many have come together for a communal dinner.
Food for street cats in Istanbul, Turkey.
As we humans know, parks, in particular, are pleasant picnic spots.
Food for street dogs in Istanbul, Turkey.
An individual feedings street dogs in the park in front of the Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya).
This restaurant on Büyükada, the Princes’ Islands (Adalar), serves not only human customers but also animal customers.
Food for street animals in Istanbul, Turkey.
The Migros grocery store chain provides food for street animals – free of charge. The welcome message says “To our little friends” (Küçük Dostlarımıza).
Food for street dog in Istanbul, Turkey.
Please go ahead and shop inside this Gratis cosmetics store; meanwhile, I’ll enjoy the treats provided outside. (The ear tag on this dog is a common way to indicate the vaccination status of each animal, especially for street dogs.)
Food for street cat in Istanbul, Turkey.
Although food is generously sponsored, sometimes acrobatic skills are needed for eating.
Food for street animals in Istanbul, Turkey.
The food and water dispenser can get crowded at times, so there might be some discussion about whose turn it is. But eventually, a friendly agreement is reached.
During the time of the coronavirus when a temporary curfew was imposed on the city, only tourists like me, guards, police and animal feeders were allowed on the streets. Since the city was nearly empty, I asked my family with concern if I should take food and water for animals in the city to distribute, but they told me that the municipality takes care of the animals even during the curfew. And this was proven: in the video, the animal feeder goes around filling the food and drink containers for street animals on the beach.

Do we have enough love?

In summary, I reiterate once again that I believe we treat animals the way we treat each other as humans.

Over the years, I have become increasingly convinced of this, especially among the locals or the original Turks in Istanbul. After all, the Turks are mainly a very friendly nation. You can easily observe this, for example, in cafes and restaurants, just by watching how people treat street animals as dining companions. That’s when you can usually tell who is a local and who is a tourist, or someone who has moved from elsewhere.

This could be a necessary and important topic to contemplate everywhere. Do we have enough love and willingness to help others beyond our own pets? What about other people too?

Because it is only with boundless love and care that we create goodness for each other, our animals, our nature, and our entire shared planet.

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