A train-hopping street dog named Boji is Turkey’s most beloved travel buddy.
The beloved mascot boasts some 79,000 followers — and counting — across his newly launched accounts on Twitter and Instagram, many of whom may be among the 1.3 million commuters in and around Istanbul, where Boji is known to roam.
And it’s always a treat to meet the golden-furred, floppy-eared pooch while patronizing public transit — trains, buses and even ferries — throughout Europe’s largest metro area.
“You take the train and, suddenly, you see Boji,” said Metro Istanbul’s Aylin Erol. “You just smile and catch the moment, really.”
Municipal officials in Istanbul track the drifting dog’s journeys through a microchip, they told Reuters.
“We noticed a dog using our metros and trains and he knows where to go. He knows where to get out,” Erol explained, and added, “it’s like he has a purpose.”
Boji’s daily treks extend up to 20 miles as he stops through some 29 metro stations, they also said, including one that recently put him on a boat to the Princes’ Islands archipelago, southeast of Istanbul in the Sea of Marmara.
Records of the pup’s pilgrimages suggest his favorite mode of transport is the city’s historic tram lines, but he also frequents the subway. The name — Boji — was bestowed by Metro Istanbul workers, who noted that the hobo hound preferred to ride the middle of a subway carriage, called boji in Turkish.
The courteous canine has also been praised for respecting the rules of public transit, such as waiting for passengers to disembark before entering a train — etiquette that too many humans fail to observe.
“This is what Boji evokes for Istanbulites. He also reminds us that we can still enjoy Istanbul as we rush about.”