Thousands of stray dogs and cats roam the streets of Istanbul, but one particular stray named Boji has become a seasoned commuter who takes advantage of the modern modes of public transportation.
Boji is an Anatolian shepherd who has his own social media account on Twitter and Instagram. His Twitter account became active in September 2021 and has already garnered more than 67,000 followers. His tagline is “the dog touring Istanbul.” Each post attracts thousands of “likes.”
Boji has traveled on ferries, buses, metro trains and trams. Many of his followers make sure he’s safe, and when someone spots him, they follow him around for selfie photos. In his ear is a tiny green microchip which is Istanbul’s way to keep track of his trips, and Boji has stopped in at least 29 metro stations. The dog averages traveling 18 miles a day and is always respectful of the rules.
The operation manager for public transportation uses the chip to make sure the dog has food and water and has embraced the dog’s activities and travels. The managers run the dog’s social media account; allegedly to promote the use of public transport, protection of the environment and the observation of public safety rules. One of his posts shows Boji at a subway station waiting for a train. “For safety reasons I never cross the yellow line. Nor should you,” he counsels in the tweet.
“You take the train and suddenly you see Boji. And look at him. He lies, just like this. You just smile and catch the moment really. This is what Boji evokes for Istanbulites. He also reminds us that we can still enjoy Istanbul as we rush about.”
Aylin Erol from Metro Istanbul
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