A documentary about street cats of Istanbul, “Kedi,” came out four years ago. The cats became a distinctive feature of the city, where they receive informal care from humans nearby, apparently charmed by their presence, according to the film’s director, Ceyda Torun.
Now many people are asking, is it the same for stray dogs? Do they also receive the same kindness and care from humans?
“There are many dogs on the streets of Istanbul but their lives are infinitely more tragic. The ones on the streets are almost always ones that were dumped by their owners,” Toran told Chicago Tribune in an interview.
“They have a harder time finding food and shelter because of their size. And since they’re potentially more dangerous, people don’t take them in so often. The city municipalities make great effort to neuter and vaccinate them, but unlike the cats – most of whom are of and from the streets – most stray dogs are abandoned pets,” Toran added.
A new unofficial companion to the documentary Kedi has been produced. “Stray” by filmmaker Elizabeth Lo shows the life of Istanbul’s steet dogs.
The film shows the disdainful way stray dogs are treated, at the same time takes a look at the himans who are without homes. They followed a dog called Zeytin, who according to Lo, became the focus of the show as she did not follow the crew back just like the others, which was interesting.
“To the very last day of shooting, she remained radically independent. In Zeytin I saw a character who could fully envelop us within our own nonhuman will – a quality that was vital to a story about dogs who, unlike pets, are not only defined by their relationship to humans,” Lo said.