Turkish fireman adopts cat he rescued from under rubble after Feb 6 earthquake
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 — A cat rescued by a fireman 129 hours after the February 6 devastating Turkey quake has been adopted by its rescuer.
The black and white tabby had refused to leave Ali Cakas' side after being rescued from under the rubble of a collapsed apartment block, The Straits Times reported.
As the 33-year-old fireman continued searching for survivors in Nurdagi at the Gaziantep province of eastern Turkey, the cat continued to follow him.
While hoping its owner would show up, Cakas and his colleagues named the cat Enkaz which is the Turkish word for debris.
He posted pictures and videos of the cat amid his rescue work, and these have been viewed more than 11 million times on Twitter.
Cakas’ story was also tweeted by Ukrainian influencer Anton Gerashchenko, who has 263,000 followers and is an adviser to the war-torn country’s Minister of Internal Affairs.
I posted yesterday about a cat saved from the rubble in Turkey who refused to leave his rescuer's side.The rescuer's name is Ali Cakas and he adopted the cat, naming him Enkaz - "rubble" in Turkish.May they have a happy life together!- jcacs_1/ Instagram pic.twitter.com/ztgbZbAHyT
— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) February 17, 2023
It was later assumed that Enkaz’s owner had died in the quake, after no attempt was made to claim the cat.
Cakas, who used to race for Turkey’s national mountain bike team, eventually adopted the cat before returning to his home city of Mardin, around 400km away from Nurdagi.
Enkaz now lives with Cakas and his family, and his new owner often posts photos on an Instagram account, with the handle @enkaz.tr.
The account has gained more than 18,000 followers worldwide, with many praising Cakas for taking in Enkaz as the death toll in both countries reached over 46,000.