Boji Street Dog, Around Istanbul by Public Transport

The dog’s name is Boji, a translation of the English word Bogie which means the bottom of the train. The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Government (IMM) gave it the name for one strong reason: the dog likes to roam the city by utilizing transportation services.

Boji are often found on ferries, trains and trams in Istanbul. Every day, the dog used to travel up to 30 kilometers. Unlike most public transport passengers, Boji prefers to focus on the view outside the glass window where he sits and stands.

Because of his popularity, Boji became not only the darling of Istanbul residents, but also of the city’s government. For information, Boji has received all the necessary injections and vaccinations to ensure the health of himself and other passengers on public transportation services. Around his neck is a GPS tracker that allows city government staff to track his whereabouts.

Aylin Erol, Head of Public Relations of the Istanbul Transport Service, said, “Two months ago, we saw a dog, trying to use our tram, our metro, our train. It knows where to go. It knows where to get out. So, it was quite interesting and we started following him, and it’s a very interesting pattern. It seems like he knows where to go and he has a goal.”

Boji, was on a ferry operating in Istanbul, Turkey, October 5, 2021. (REUTERS/Murad Sezer)

Boji, was on a ferry operating in Istanbul, Turkey, October 5, 2021. (REUTERS/Murad Sezer)

Erol, who recorded Boji’s journey via a microchip in the dog’s neck, revealed Boji stopped at at least 29 metro stations in one day and sometimes he was even recorded taking a ferry at sea, traveling for a weekend getaway to the Princess Islands.

Erol also said the dog appeared to respect public transport rules. The dog always waits for the passengers to get off before getting on the train.

Street dog Boji, a regular user of commuting ferries, buses, metro trains and trams, lies on the ground at Besiktas pier, Kadikoy district, Istanbul, Turkey, October 5, 2021. (REUTERS/ Murad Sezer)

Street dog Boji, a regular user of commuting ferries, buses, metro trains and trams, lies on the ground at Besiktas pier, Kadikoy district, Istanbul, Turkey, October 5, 2021. (REUTERS/ Murad Sezer)

Data gleaned from his tracking device shows historic tram lines are Boji’s favourites. In addition to ferries and trams, Boji is also a frequent subway passenger.

Nihat Sertkaya, a businessman and train passenger, said he was happy to meet Boji for the first time. “You know, I just watched him on YouTube two hours ago and now I’m meeting him here. It’s so shocking. Of course, I recognized him. I just watched the video. It’s great to see wild animals among us, like this. “

Istanbulites enjoy Boji’s presence in transport facilities. The dog doesn’t refuse to be photographed together, so his image often appears on social media.

A Twitter account dedicated entirely to Boji is very popular, and has more than 50K followers. Boji also has special accounts on Instagram and YouTube. [ab/uh]

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