Meet Boji, Istanbul's commuting street dog and newest influencer
Stray cats and dogs are no strangers to Istanbul, with thousands roaming the streets of the Turkish city. Recently, though, one pooch in particular has been promoted from stray animal to social media influencer.
Boji, a stray Anatolian shepherd mix, has become an internet sensation after being recognised travelling on various modes of public transport in the city. Images of him lounging on ferries or looking out of the windows of buses have gone viral.
Boji even has his own social media accounts on Twitter and Instagram. His Twitter page, where he is given the tagline “the dog touring Istanbul”, has amassed just shy of 60,000 followers in a month. Followers are treated to images of a relaxed Boji traversing Istanbul on various modes of public transport. Each post attracts thousands of likes.
The lovable pooch has become a regular on Istanbul’s ferries, buses, metro trains and trams. Frequent users of the city’s public transport often keep an eye out for Boji, and when he's spotted, the dog is more often than not cajoled into posing for a selfie.
Eagle-eyed Boji enthusiasts will notice a green microchip on his ear, through which Istanbul’s municipality can track and record his trips across the city. According to the information acquired by the microchip, Boji stops off at at least 29 metro stations each day, with some of his journeys reaching up to 30km on any given weekday.
"We had a chip fitted to check whether Boji is hungry or thirsty, to find out which trains he takes, and where he is," Omer Taskara, an operations manager for Istanbul metro, said. "Boji is a calm and peaceful dog, he's also a very spirited dog. Istanbulites have embraced Boji," Taskara added.
The new influencer appears to have quite the fanbase among frequent users of Istanbul’s public transport. Speaking to Reuters, Aylin Erol from Metro Istanbul said: "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."
This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.