Gülden Aydın – ISTANBUL
A cat rescued from northern Syria by a Turkish soldier during the Euphrates Shield Operation in February has found his new home: A bookstore in Istanbul.
The eight-month-old cat named Barış (“Peace” in Turkish) had first been taken to the Gaziantep-based Improving the Life of Living Animals Association (CAHİDE) after Specialized Sgt. Ömer Özkan found him in al-Bab during ongoing clashes there.
A raft of applications to adopt Barış followed, including from the Kırmızı Kedi (Red Cat) Publishing House in Istanbul.
Haluk Hepkon, the owner of the publishing house, later sent his employee Salih Yavuz to Gaziantep to pick Barış up. He arrived in Istanbul in the early hours of April 9 to begin his new life among the books at the Publishing House.
“He is now our most precious member of staff,” Hepkon told daily Hürriyet, adding that their priority is now to make Barış feel safe at his new home.
“The fact that Barış will live in a publishing house whose name is ‘Red Cat’ is the right ending for his own story. The humanity that our soldier showed should not be left half-finished. Barış is the legacy of bitter events in Syria and our soldiers there … Barış came to Kırmızı Kedi and I hope ‘peace’ will also come to Syria and Middle East,” he added.