The backstreets of Istanbul are largely characterized by stray cats and dogs struggling to survive in the sound & fury of one of the most cosmopolitan and rough cities in the world… Even for a human, life may get unbearable at times here… Despite the historical grandeur of the city, one can hardly appreciate the urbanization which is excessively disorganised. This urbanization has pros and cons of course and human mind can evaluate, judge, and even like the shortcomings justifying it with the fact that the disorganised structure of urbanization lets us observe and experience the city as a “sincere”, “real” entity. On the other hand, survival gets harder day by day for the strays…  They do not only struggle against this disorganisation but also against the indifference of some people living here. Still they persevere and carry on becoming symbols of their territories…

Taşkafa will be wagging his tail to welcome you to Galata Tower accompanied by his shy friend. Students of Marmara University were to be stopped by the security to be asked for their identification and Osman the cat stood there for about 16 years until his death in 2000… Bogazici University South Campus is the home of many cats and dogs within a most natural environment and Bosphorus view…

Istanbul strays rightfully claim their rights to survive in this city…

The most striking stray rescue movement in Istanbul (and in Turkey) is led by an expat, Viktor Larkhill. This movement entitled Let’s Adopt! started two years ago in Turkey with the intention of forming a social network among the animal activists in Turkey and devising this network at its best to rescue strays and find new homes for them. The movement Let’s Adopt! Turkey has now become a global one motivating animal activists all around the world to contribute to the making of a miracle…

To find out more about Let’s Adopt! Global and Viktor Larkhill, click here. As Istanbul Expat Center team and members, we would like to state our support for the cause of Viktor Larkhill and his fellow animal activists.



  1. mollyscafeistanbul dedi ki:

    i need to know where to take a mama cat to get neutered for cheap. regular vets charge 350 lira!

  2. Hi Molly,

    You can call Hale hanım at Uğur Veteriner Kliniği: 0 216 346 31 36
    Please tell her that you are a friend of Başak’s. It is on the Asian side and I hope you can take the cat there… If you want the address I can tell you.

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