When going to any place in the world, monuments, cultures, arts, people, streets, buildings, city designs. …Capture our attention to the definition of this or that city in our heads.
Istanbul, however, adds to my definition an unbelievable glorified meaning of reconciliation. Reconciliation with everything that walks the roads of this city, including dogs.
I always look at Istanbul as “THE CITY”. A city that regular definitions will always fail to give it it’s proper meaning. A city of beauty, of civilization, of modernity’s intersection, of religions, of love. A city of all cities.
What were obviously remarkable this time to my attention were street dogs. I don’t know how much the word street dogs fit here. Well fed, clean, quiet. Dogs walk with people in the streets and allies of certain venues as if they are part of the organization of the site. The lay down in parks next to people. Each having the privacy of his own peace of mind.
To see a group of veiled Muslim women sitting relaxed without screaming their heads of, running away from seeing big dogs or any dogs sitting next to them was a perfect scene of harmony and reconciliation to me.
Coming from a place where humans barely have rights, it looks normal that dogs are aimless, filthy, dangerous street dogs. Dogs ran over by cars on the sides of the streets seems sometimes as part of life. In Istanbul, dogs lie in the side of the street because they decide it is time to relax and they do.
Some years ago, I thought that one of the greatest scenes that stuck in my head about Istanbul was the image of Muslim and Christian people visiting the mosques and churches with the same passion and curiosity and respect to the other.
I thought back then, that this shows how great a country can become. The harmony, neutrality of the actions in those sightseeing venues was very impressive to me. Again, someone who comes from a place where religion is the opium of existence of its people and being surrounded with all the hostility of the existing religions and fights over legitimacy.
Observing street dogs in Istanbul is another example of reconciliation. When people reconciliate with themselves, dogs do as well…
I love Turkey, is all what I can say)