The city of Istanbul has long been a friend to cats, its residents often going about their business among the thousands of felines who call the urban streets home. And this symbiotic relationship between people and cats has continued for centuries as kitties have ruled the city since the Ottomans conquered Turkey long ago.

But why are there so many cats in Istanbul?

Were the Ottoman Turks cat lovers?

The Ottomans seized Istanbul in the 1400s and with their rule came…

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