Istanbul’s equivalent of India’s sacred cow must surely be the cat.
There are stray cats everywhere, a problem the locals say, yes. But they are treated with kindness at every turn. Even in the darkest and dirtiest alleyways we have found food and water put out for them. They are certainly tolerated by people here and also well looked after. The nights are punctuated by cat fights and yowls and during the day cats are wandering unhindered.
One cat gets a luxury place to recline on.
The cats are not alone though. There are many dogs roaming around also.. They make a huge racket at night.
No one seems to worry about them, they all seem to be fed and pretty street savvy in such a busy place.
The attitude to the stray animals is the same laid back one about road rules, helmet wearing rules, parking and building regulations. Everyone says “no problem” and being here makes me feel as though our culture is slightly uptight about such things.
Why worry about such trivial matters when the sun is shining, tea to be drunk and new friends to meet…?