Gli, famous cat of Hagia Sophia, gets new company from capital Ankara


A feline named “Kılıç” (sword in Turkish) has been brought from the capital Ankara to Istanbul to befriend Gli, the famous cat that has been living in the Hagia Sophia mosque for the last 16 years.

“We have been looking after Gli for a long time and we think that it was lonely, so we decided to send Kılıç. We are sure that the cats will have a good time together,” said Ertuğrul Çetin, mayor of the Pursaklar district in the capital.

The award-winning Angora cat with one blue and another green eye was brought to Istanbul by Gürhan Yüzbaşıoğlu, the mayor’s aide, and delivered to Hüseyin Baş, the mufti of the Fatih district.

The mufti promised to take care of Kılıç and noted, “We will miss the ‘handsome Kılıç’ but we are sure he will be happy there in Hagia Sophia. We will not forget to visit him.”

Gli is a tib-cat born in 2004 in Hagia Sophia mosque, which got recognition world-wide when the ex-U.S. President Barack Obama petted her on his visit to Istanbul in 2009.

An official, who knew Gli since birth, had told the story of the cat in an interview in 2018.

“Her original name was Gri [Grey in Turkish]. But we realized that she was squint-eyed, only in jest, the name turned to Gli.”

Hurriyet Daily News


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