Doruk's Cats

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Art and History | Places | MStory telling | Friendship


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Doruk’s Cats Through the Streets of Istanbul by Toros Öztürk Language consultant: Silvana Sardi Illustrated by Angela Operamolla

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Doruk, a ten-year-old Turkish boy, loves cats and would like to have a nice one as a pet. He listens to Aunt Banu’s advice and starts looking fora cat in the streets of Istanbul. During this exciting adventure, he learns some stories about the historical places in Istanbul. He learns a lot about cats too. Will he find a cat he likes? Or will a nice cat “choose him”? Join Doruk on his walk around the city and you'll see that Istanbul is full of surprises!

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Stage 4 A2

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Through the Streets of Istanbul

The ELI Readers collection is a complete range of books and plays for readers of all ages, ranging from captivating contemporary stories to timeless classics. There are four series, each catering for a different age group: First ELI Readers, Young ELI Readers, Teen ELI Readers and Young Adult ELI Readers. The books are carefully edited and beautifully illustrated to capture the essence of the stories and plots.

Toros Öztürk


Silvana Sardi My name's Silvana. I was born and brought up in Glasgow, Scotland. I love travelling and writing stories. Hope you like this one. I really enjoyed writing it.

Grammar and structures Present & Past I'd like simple (regular, Imperatives (positive) irregular verbs) Verb + ing / infinitive Present & Past Comparative of progressive adjectives (continuous) Let’s… Present perfect Modals can, must, simple should Future with will / going to

Toros Öztürk Doruk’s Cats

Toros Öztürk Doruk’s Cats - Through the Streets of Istanbul

Vocabulary areas Places, food and Turkish food

Readers Real Lives




2 Hi! I’m Doruk from Turkey.

I’m 10 years old and I live in Istanbul. I’m happy to live in this city. Many cats and dogs live in the l. streets and in the parks of Istanbu I love cats!

My family I live with my family: mum, dad and my brother. He’s older than me and we have fun together. My school This is my school. It’s really close to my house. I walk to school. I have a lot of friends here and the teachers are very nice. 2

I go home for lunch because my mum is a great cook! I love Turkish Manti food. Manti and Su Böreği are my favourites. Some people call Manti “Turkish ravioli” but this dish is a bit different. There are many different types of Boreks but my favourite one is Su Böreği. My mother makes Su Böreği in a large pan Su Böreği and then cuts it into smaller pieces.


Iskender I like meat and fish too. My favourites are Iskender and Shish kebabs. I like all fish but my favourite is lufer. This fish lives only in the Black Sea in the North of Turkey. Shish kebabs 3

3 I’d like to have a cat,

but my brother laughs at me. He thinks I can’t look after a cat. Why not? Cats are our lovely friends! So I asked my mother if I could have a cat. She told me to talk to Aunt Banu. Aunt Banu knows a lot about cats. She loves cats and she has one! This is her cat!


Aunt Banu said: ‘There are many cats in the streets. Why don't you take one home with you?’ It was a good idea! ‘Cats choose us, really,’ she added.


4 Aunt Banu and I

started to look for a cat in the streets. A cat was going to choose me!


We first went to Kadikoy, a very old and beautiful area of Istanbul. What a surprise! There was a statue of Cat Tombili in the street where this cat once lived. Tombili means fat in Turkish. She was a famous cat in Kadikoy. 7

5 She loved sleeping and having a rest all the time.

People were very sad when this friendly cat died in 2016. Aunt Banu said: ‘You see Doruk, cats always get people’s love and respect.’ Then Aunt Banu said happily: ‘Let’s take the boat and go to the European side.’


‘You know Istanbul sits on two continents: Asia and Europe,’ said my geography teacher once. ‘Aunt Banu,’ I cried on the boat, ‘I think I’ve just seen Cat Tombili over there. But she’s gone now!’ Aunt Banu laughed and said: ‘Oh! You can't forget her... .’ I loved the boat trip.


11 ‘Of course!’ said Aunt Banu. ‘Well,’ I said,

‘this is a story from “mythology.” Zeus met a young girl called Io and he gave her a flower. When his wife heard about this, she was very angry and she turned poor Io into a cow! Poor Io was very sad and started to cry.’


‘Io ran around the world crying. She passed through a valley and filled it with her tears. So they called this valley Bósporos. It means cow’s tears’. 21

12 ‘What a nice story!’ Aunt Banu was smiling.

She told me there were many stories about the Bosphorus. ‘Look Aunt Banu!’ I cried. ‘Cat Tombili is over there!’ But the cat ran away before Aunt Banu could see her.


‘Oh, Doruk! I think we should go back to Cat Tombili now. You really want a cat like Tombili, right?’ asked Aunt Banu. So we went back to Cat Tombili. ‘Aunt Banu, I can hear somebody crying,’ I said. ‘Can you hear it? Maybe it's a baby!’ ‘I think you're right!’ said Aunt Banu. We looked around. It wasn’t a baby. It was a cat meowing! We started to look everywhere: in the gardens, under the trees, even behind the stones! ‘Here!’ I cried. ‘It’s in here!’ There was a little kitten in a hole in the ground by the street. She was sad and afraid, and she was crying for help.


Activity Pages 1 Who are they? Write their names under the pictures. 1






2 True or false? 1 Doruk is 12 years old. 2 Doruk doesn’t love cats. 3 Doruk walks to school, it’s near his home. 4 Doruk’s city, Istanbul, is a very old city. 5 Doruk’s city sits on two continents: Asia and Europe. 6 Many cats live in the streets of Istanbul. 7 In Istanbul, there aren’t many historical places. 8 In Istanbul, many cultures live together.




3 Read the clues and write the words in the squares.


Across 4 3 2 There was 2 a __________ 6 of Cat Tombili. 5 We arrived at 5 the modern Galata 7 8 __________ . 9 7 ‘The kitten is in _______ !’ cried Doruk. 10 8 Poor Io was very sad and started to _______ around the world. 10 The fire brigade pulled the kitten out of the _______ . Down 1 Tombili was a _______ . 3 Istanbul is the largest city in __________ . 4 Doruk lives in ______ . 6 Istanbul sits on two continents: Asia and ________ . 9 Zeus’s wife turned Io into a ______________ . 29

4 Write the names of these places in Istanbul under the correct picture. Topkapi Palace

Grand Bazaar

The Bosphorus







5 Put the verbs in the brackets in their Past Simple or Past Continuous form. 1 Aunt Banu and Doruk _ _ _ _ _ _ _ (start) to look for a cat. 2 While Doruk _ _ _ (be) on the boat, he _ _ _ (see) Cat Tombili. 3 Doruk _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ (stand) at the centre of the world (by the Milion Stone) when he felt like a cat. 4 Doruk _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ (visit) Galata Tower when he _ _ _ (see) Cat Tombili ! 5 During the boat trip, Doruk _ _ _ _ _ _ (look) at the other boats on the Bosphorous. 6 When Doruk _ _ _ _ _ (find) the kitten, she _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ (cry). 30



ntust Sk ry i Ce

6 Cats are very popular in Istanbul. Doruk loves cats. What’s your favourite animal? Choose an animal you like, make a factfile and then show it to your friends. Animal: _________________________________ Name: __________________________________ Describe it: ______________________________ ________________________________________ ________________________________________ Things to do together: _____________________ ________________________________________ ________________________________________ ________________________________________

7 Speaking project: Role Play. Work with a friend. Doruk visits your city and you take him around. Talk to Doruk about you, your family, your school, and the interesting things in your city. Ask Doruk questions about his family, his school and Istanbul. Tell Doruk a story about where you live.



8 Imagine a day in the life of Cat Tombili and make a poster. If you have a cat make it talk on your poster in ‘speech bubbles’. If you like dogs and have a dog, make Cat Tombili and your dog talk to each other. Plan your poster here.

9 At the end of the book Doruk says: ‘This kitten makes me feel good’. Think of something that makes you feel good, then write about it. _________________________________________ 10 Doruk says that in Istanbul there are many mosques, churches, synagogues and historical buildings. Think of a building you like in your town, then describe it to your friends. 32