His name is Baris, which means “peace” in Turkish. And this eight-month old kitten is the fortunate survivor of a war-torn city in Syria.
The kitten was rescued from the rubble of al-Bab by Turkish Army officer Omer Ozkan during the final assault on ISIS forces in the city in February, according to the report in Newsweek.
Ozkan took Baris with him on a 90-mile trek across the Syrian border to the Turkish city of Gaziantep. “Baris was living in a huge war,” Salih Yavuz, the head of sales at Red Cat, told Newsweek via email. “It was very meaningful for us that the Turkish soldiers gave him the name ‘Peace’ in the conditions of war. One day, we hope peace comes to the Middle East too.”
When pictures of the white-and-marmalade kitten making his way through rubble appeared in the Turkish press, thousands of people applied to adopt him. The Red Cat Publishing House in Istanbul was chosen as his new home. Baris spent a month at an animal shelter in Gaziantep. Then Yavuz took Baris by plane to Istanbul.
The bookstore staff adore Baris. “We think that it is very lucky compared to innocent people and animals who cannot survive,” said Yavuz. “We are also very happy [to be] someone who gives a second chance in life to Baris.” Baris has become a minor celebrity and symbol of hope.