Wednesday, December 18, 2013

1271. Travel stories - Istanbul's kindness to stray dogs and cats: Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

MVI 8003
Dec 19, 2013. 11.14am. Iris Otel Rm 209, Turkey.

Yesterday, visited Istanbul. Then by coach of over 4 hours to the Iris Otel which is located after the ferry crossed Gallipoli town river. Gallipoli is significant historically for ANZAC troops as many had died in battles there during the First World War.

This video shows that Istanbul is caring for stray cross-bred dogs although it is predominantly a Muslim city.

Outside the beautiful Blue Mosque where there were a few thousand international tourists on Dec 18, 2013, Bright sunshine and blue skies yesterday, unlike one week ago when there was fog and snow in Istanbul!

I saw  around 5 stray dogs with the left ear tagged. No barking. Some mingle with the tourists. They were friendly and don't mind being patted and would walk along with the tourists.

One veteran was seen sleeping at around lunch-time near the Sophia Museum. He reminds me of "Let Sleeping Dogs Lie" in my primary school English lessons, That was in 1962, a time when the English idioms and correct grammar were   seriously studied by Primary Six students in Singapore as we would be tested in the PSLE examinations to qualify for the top secondary schools.

Hence this video to "bring English idiom" alive to the viewer - "Let Sleeping Dogs Lie" .

There were around 2 stray cats outside the Blue Mosque and two at the Palace. They like to be petted by visitors and many visitors including Singaporean ladies have their photos taken. Many young Singaporeans nowadays care much for the disadvantaged stray cats and dogs unlike the baby boomer generation.

The stray cats looked in excellent health with the thick winter coat. It can be as cold as 5 deg C during daytime and freezing at night.  Their ears are NOT tipped unlike in Singapore and so it is not possible to see from afar whether they have been spayed or neutered
As for this Istanbul rusty-brown and white og, I let "sleeping dogs lie" and continued with my tour to see the racehorse track that existed around 500 years. It is presently a tiled rectangular area.

It will be a surprising change of mindset one day in the future if the Singapore Government & Tourism Board permits around 5 stray sterilized dogs to live around the Esplanade or Resort World area, enhancing the visiting experience of international tourists, many of whom do not have pets as they live a hectic city life, like many Singaporeans.

These strays are inexpensive to maintain and are not a danger to visitors. Certainly they add that contacting animal experience for the younger tourists living in urban jungles do not get and the make great photo opportunities.

If I remember correctly, I don't see such strays in famous historical sites in Paris or Rome. Singapore's stray dogs appear to be hiding during the daytime as the environment is apparently hostile towards them. There are also fewer stray cats seen in public places but one does encounter the rare ones.

A generation of urbanized Singaporeans has grown up without contact with animals as there was mass culling of strays using pest control companies at one period of time when town councils were all out to eliminate all stray dogs and cats. Now, there are "trappers" who bring them to vets for sterilization and the volunteers then feed them. Videos are still the best form of educating the young ones as compared to text and stories. The young just do not read much nowadays!  

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