A elderly Turkish man has moved into his rebuilt home in western Turkey’s Bolu region, which attracted worldwide attention when emotional photographs of him watching his house burn down while hugging his cat appeared.
Ali Meşe, 83, lost his country home when it was destroyed by a fire he ignited by accident.
The Mudurnu Social Assistance and Solidarity Foundation, the Bolu Governorship, the Ministry of Family and Social Policies, and the Turkish Red Crescent got together to begin a joint campaign to construct Meşe a new house, moved by the elderly man’s plight.
Meşe told reporters on Tuesday that he had moved in with his son for the winter, but that he still went to his new village house on a daily basis to check on his three cats.
Ahmet Meşe, his son, said his father was overjoyed to have a house in his community again.
“He’s in a good mood right now. When my brother travels to the village, he takes care of him. When he’s in Bolu, I look after him. When he visits the hamlet, he spends time with both of his cats as well as my brother “Ahmet said.
Meşe’s house in Ordular village was burned in January when he accidently set fire to his heating stove while trying to ignite it with gasoline. His attempts were futile, and the single-story wooden house burnt to the ground following an explosion in the living room.
Meşe’s heartbreaking story went viral as photographs of him cuddling his orange tabby kitten Sarkz (Blonde Girl) while helplessly watching his house burn went popular on social media.
a news organization CNN tweeted a single photograph taken by Anadolu Agency that earned almost 100,000 likes, while talk show host Ellen Degeneres released a brief video of the event that has been seen nearly 10 million times.