Although countless people regularly use public transport in Istanbul, Turkey, one passenger in particular stood out from the rest. His name is Boji, and he was a stray dog. No one knows where the canine came from or when he started riding trains and buses. For some, it felt as if he’d always been there. But a few answers began to emerge after a tracker was placed on the pooch.
A familiar face
An Anatolian shepherd mongrel, Boji started to attract the attention of commuters in Istanbul in the summer of 2021. Whether it was on a bus or a ferry, the dog was seemingly popping up everywhere around the city, just chilling with the rest of the passengers. He made for an unusual and heartwarming sight, but his wandering habits also raised some questions.
“He knows where to go”
As we mentioned, no one could pinpoint the exact moment when Boji took a liking to public transport. He just appeared inside the various vehicles — and kept coming back. But the canine’s journeys didn’t seem to be random. As Metro Istanbul’s Avlin Erol told CNN in October 2021, “He knows where to go. He knows where to get out.”
Speaking to CNN, Chris McGrath — a professional snapper for Getty Images — noted, “[Boji’s] such a free spirit. All he wants to do is ride on transportation. Every time he goes past a bus or van or any form of transport, he just wants to get on it. It’s really quite bizarre.”
Still, as “bizarre” as it might’ve seemed to McGrath, apparently local commuters didn’t see it that way. Now, in countries such as America or the United Kingdom, it’s hard to imagine a stray dog hopping aboard a bus without raising some eyebrows! Yet in Istanbul, homeless animals are treated very differently. And that’s all thanks to a fascinating law.