All About Istanbul
Let your self experience a great city where the Continents meet.

Latest News

New openings in 2023-2024

The Byzantine cistern (Yerebatan), Blue Mosque, Maiden's Tower (Kizkulesi), Treasury at Topkapi Palace, Anatolian Fortress, and Upper Galleries at Hagia Sophia re-opened after restorations.

Entrance fees in 2024

As of 1st of March 2024, many State museums will charge in Euros, or its equivalent in Turkish Liras.

Museum Pass

You can buy the "Museum Pass" for foreigners which is valid for 5 days in various museums of Istanbul.

Museums open 7 days

Many State museums in Istanbul operate 7 days a week, except Topkapi Palace.

More News

Street cats and dogs in Istanbul

Stray dogs of IstanbulThere are controversial estimates about the number of street cats and dogs in Istanbul; around 130/170 thousand cats and about 130/140 thousand dogs roaming freely, not to mention the house cats and dogs. Street cats are also called feral cats as they are free-roaming without an owner. Street dogs are called as strays, and they also live on the streets. For ferals and strays the solution to population management is called Trap - Neuter - Return (TNR) and is a widely implemented method in civilized countries, as well as in Turkey by the Animal Welfare Law No.5199 since 2014. Today, Municipalities and Animal Rights NGO's conduct the TNR; neutered dogs have an electronic chip in their ear and neutered cats have a little triangle cut at the tip of their ear.

In Istanbul the cats are the King! Istanbul is perhaps the most cat-friendly city in the world. Istanbulites grow up with cats in the house and on the street, sharing the city with them. Street corners are full of cat shelters and feeding stations. It is very common for locals to carry cat food in their bags in case they come across one. Cats are an integral part of community life in Europe's largest city. Today, even though cats are all around Istanbul, there are mainly two cat central locations, one on the European side and the other on the Anatolian side: Cihangir and Moda neighborhoods. They are taken care of by no one and everyone. There is even a Cat Museum in Istanbul since October 2023, located inside Besiktas Municipality building in Ciragan neighborhood, housing a collection of fairy tales about cats, toys, games, and comics.

Street cats of IstanbulIstanbul's cats are thought to originate from ancient Egypt, where they were first domesticated and spread to Anatolia and to the rest of the world about ten thousand years ago, protecting the grain from rats. Animal rights regulations were first made during the Ottoman period. In the 16th century it was forbidden to employ old animals (especially horses) in heavy work. In the Ottoman Empire, people also left inheritances for stray animals. Foundations established for stray animals and "Mancacilar", caretakers of street cats, were held responsible for feeding stray animals. Cats are considered ritually clean animals in Islam. In the hadith, reports of statements or actions of Muhammad, there are many examples of the Prophet's fondness for cats.

Two cats from Istanbul became world famous, but both of them passed away today. Gli, the iconic cat of Hagia Sophia with thousands of followers on her Instagram account, gained worldwide fame after Barack Obama petted her during a visit. Tombili (meaning "chubby" in Turkish) from Kadikoy district became an internet star after a photo of her reclining on the pavement, which is now memorialized with a bronze statue at the same spot.

"Kedi" (Cat), a documentary about street cats in Istanbul directed by Ceyda Torun in 2017, shows a day in the life of a cat in the city and raise awareness for the street animals in town. Then another documentary about stray dogs in Istanbul, titled "Stray" and directed by Elizabeth Lo in 2021, is another wonderful production to bring attention to our furry friends.

Hope to see you soon in Istanbul.