Thousands mourn Turkey's beloved Hagia Sophia cat

Thousands mourn Turkey's beloved Hagia Sophia cat
2 min read
08 November, 2020
Turkey bids farewell to its beloved Hagia Sophia cat, as thousands mourn the furry social media sensation on social media.
Hagia Sophia’s resident cat was allowed to stay in the building after its conversion [Getty]
Istanbul's famous feline resident of the Hagia Sophia died of 'old age', the mayor of the Turkish metropolis said on Saturday. The news upset thousands who took to social media to mourn the beloved cat.

Gli, a cat who has lived in the Hagia Sophia for at least 13 years, became an international sensation especially popular among millions of tourists who visited the historic building which was recently converted into a mosque.

With a grey mane and green eyes, Gli's social media fan accounts have gained thousands of fans around the world. In 2009, former US President Barack Obama was filmed stroking him on a visit to Turkey.

Gli had been hospitalied and was receiving treatment for months before passing away.

"I am upset about losing Gli," Istanbul mayor Ali Yerlikaya wrote on twitter. 

"Hagia Sophia's cat Gli, who was being treated at a private veterinary clinic [Istanbul's] Levent [district] since September 24, unfortunately passed away due to her old age," Yerlikaya said.

Gli's official instagram account also posted the news, bidding a final farewell to the cat.

"Farewell to Gli, the famed feline of Hagia Sophia mosque. 
Gli's soft footsteps are now an a part of Hagia Sophia's history," the account, @HagiaSophiaCat wrote.

Thousands of residents and tourists who had met the famous cat were saddened by the news and flooded the post with comments recounting their encounters with the fluffy 'guardian' of Hagia Sophia.

"Rest in Peace Gli. I met her in 2009, she was very young back then," Golara Tavakolian wrote.

"I met you last year. I pet you and stayed with you for hours. My heart is broken. You will be missed," another user, @dmcgrimm, wrote.

Read also: Coronavirus: Turkey to ensure beloved street cats stay well-fed

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