Cats of Turkey

Get ready for cat overload–and some views of Istanbul, Goreme and Ephesus. Cats are everywhere in Turkey; hanging out in parks, sitting on chairs at outdoor cafes, lounging around ancient ruins, following me around town, nestling in my lap and looking for a little love and attention. Cats many not have conquered the world(yet), but they have almost taken over Turkey. Although these cats are not owned by anyone in particular, may not have a name or a designated cat bed, the community takes care of them by leaving bowls of food and water on doorsteps and alleyways. If it’s super hot out, everyone is on alert and puts out extra provisions. Below are a few furry friends I met on my trip to Turkey. The cute one to the left was all by himself and just wanted me to pet him. I had the strong urge to take him home with me since he would fit perfectly in my carry-on.

This fancy cat was hanging out in Sultanahmet, the old city. On the recommendation of a friend I stayed at the Ararat Hotel, which is a very lovely and affordable hotel in that district. From their rooftop patio you can snap a selfie with the Blue Mosque over your shoulder. I was steps away from Hagia Sofia, a 10 minutes from the Grand Bazaar and many others historic places. It is also close to public transportation and if you choose the right place, you can get a view of the sea. It is a great place to experience the city.

Found this cutie lounging in the shade when I took a day trip to Ephesus. The ruins are not near a community so there is no one to take care of them but the local guides bring water and food when they do their tours.

I was on my way to Bebek, one of Istanbul’s seaside neighborhoods(stay tuned for a blog post about that) and saw this clowder that was lounging in a tiny park. I couldn’t help but snap a picture.

I went on a street food tour in the cosmopolitan Beyoğlu district, filled with art studios and chic wine bars–you guessed it, I’ll be doing a blog post about that also. This daredevil wanted to get to the other side of the street where there was a bowl of food, some shade and a few friends to play with.

This little one was dazzled by the gold fish and attempted to get his own dinner at the Omurca Cafe atop the Stay In Peace Cave Hostel in Goreme(#blogpostintheworks). He almost got one.

I named him Oscar and he happily followed me as I explored the cave dwellings when I first arrived in Goreme, one of my new favorite towns.

I don’t blame this one for trying to get some scraps–Turkish breakfasts are simple, (somewhat) healthy and delicious–tea, sliced cucumber, tomato, feta cheese, olives, processed meat, freshly made ekmek (Turkish bread), a hard boiled egg and Nutella.

I was rarely far from cats at play. As I went off in search of a morning ATV ride before I headed back to Istanbul I watched with these guys wrestle in front of my hostel.


Pinky enjoyed some time with me in Goreme, after an exhilarating balloon ride. Oh yes, there will be a blog post about that.

I randomly stumbled upon Macka Parkl while trying to find a respite from the craziness that is Taksim Square and found a public tram that took me across a suburban valley. I was pleasantly surprised by this green space with running trails, a plethora of flora and some outdoor restaurants including Fua Cafe and Restaurant, On Numara and Sutlu Cafe.

As I tried walking off my jetlag I took a stroll along the Golden Horn, the strait that separates the two European districts of Istanbul. Cats and people climbed the rocks to enjoyed the sun, sea breeze and the view.

I saw this beauty as I explored the side streets of Istiklal Caddesi, one of the grandest outdoor shopping districts in Istanbul. Cats slink through alleyways and hang out near the döner carts to get a morsel of meat.

#bunk is a hip hostel I stayed at when I was in Taksim Square, this one escorted me as I went to the corner market. He may look lazy in this daytime picture but he was diligent in making sure I got to my destination after the sun went down.

This is just a cute, fun post I did for my cat loving friends. Turkey is a country filled with tantalizing food, exhilarating adventures, beautiful people and a complex history. I will be doing some more in-depth posts but for now, enjoy the cats.

Okay here’s one more…..I waited at Kardesler Kebab to meet my street food tour group and he decided hop up and see what was going on. This is the neighborhood where one of the most famous Turkish novelists, Orhan Pamuk, lives.

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