Neval Kamışlı and her husband, who is working in a construction project for a Turkish company, have been living in Tanzania for more than two years.
They brought their cat “Kümülonimbus,” meaning “cumulonimbus,” which they adopted five years ago, to the country when they relocated.
When the outbreak struck, Turkey launched a massive operation to evacuate expats from all over the world. However, some restrictions were applied to pets for their entrance to Turkey. That is why the Kamışlı family and their cat could not return home in March.
The authorities removed the restrictions for pets, and Turkish Airlines scheduled a special flight to Tanzania for May 16. However, the Kamışlı family found that there was a quota for pets on this flight and there was no space available for Kümülonimbus.
The Kamışlı family contacted Hürriyet newspaper reporter Toygun Atilla to find a solution to take the cat, which they call “our child,” with them back to Turkey.
Atilla informed officials at the Turkish Airlines headquarters about the Kamışlı family and their cat.
Shortly after, Turkish Airlines made an exception and allowed Kümülonimbus to travel with their owners on board in the flight back to Turkey.
“Kümülonimbus was with us all the time in the cabin during the whole flight. Turkish Airlines crew was very nice with us and helpful. We avoided unnecessary delays and all health precautions were taken for this flight. We are very happy,” said Neval Kamışlı.
Hurriyet Daily News