A different view of Istanbul’s history'
Written by TR Editör

Beyoğlu currently hosts an unusual exhibition. The event to last until March 11th looks at Istanbul over stray dogs.

The streets do not just belong to people. The dogs with their docility, modesty, doleful glances and good behaviour have a say and right on the streets… Especially if the city you live in is Istanbul, streets have a long history as well as stray dogs. Stray dogs had immunity in the Ottoman State. Four-Footed Municipality: Istanbul’s Stray Dogs exhibition is about stray dogs, an important and indispensable part of everyday life in almost every period and their historical journey with political and sociological transformations. Exhibition is curated by Ekrem Işın and advised by Catherine Pinguet.


Curator Işın asserts that Istanbul dogs have participated in the social adventure of urban life as much as people, have specialized in management and security, and have developed their own collective life philosophy. Işın emphasizes that the Western observers who visit the city are curious about the finesse of this culture that has even allowed socialization of animals. When sources of the period are examined, mainly the municipal works have a view of Istanbul dogs. According to sources, in addition to being a municipal officer responsible for city cleanliness, stray dogs are also seen as guards that ensure safety of the neighbourhood. Pinguet underlines that the question “Why so much fuss for an animal?” directed at those who take animal issues seriously, is an ordinary approach well known to those who are friends and guardians of Istanbul’s stray dogs. Pinguet marks that the book Why Look at Animals? by John Berger is a call to people to stop and look around, and answers the question as follows: “Because their freedom is the guarantee of my freedom.” The ongoing exhibition at Istanbul Research Institute in Beyoğlu Tepebaşı, presents the visitors a period between the 19th to 20th century accompanied by photographs, travel books, postcards, magazines and engravings. The exhibition is open every day between 10 A.M.-7 P.M. except Sundays, and the entry is free. For information:

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