4 min read

Someone Put An Umbrella On This Traffic Light For The Nicest Reason

"I want this kind of event to be a model for everyone."

A traffic light in Turkey has become the unlikely focal point of a story that’s touched the nation. 

About a year ago, a mother dove built her nest atop the light overlooking a busy intersection in the city of Izmir. Having settled in such a conspicuous spot, it wasn’t long before she attracted attention and interest from locals, including veterinarian Hakan Erdoğan.

At first, Erdoğan was happy to simply observe her from afar — but soon they became much better acquainted.

Hakan Erdoğan

Last May, Erdoğan helped rescue a baby dove who had fallen from another nest in the city. Since he was unable to return the baby bird to the nest she came from, Erdoğan immediately thought of the dove nesting atop the light.

Erdoğan decided to place the baby in that other bird’s nest, and sure enough:

“She accepted it,” Erdoğan told The Dodo. “She looked after her until she was old enough to fly away. It was fantastic.”

Hakan Erdoğan

Given that successful outcome, the next time Erdoğan received a fallen baby dove, he brought the bird to her again.

And she adopted and raised that one, too.

Hakan Erdoğan

The bighearted mother bird’s acts of kindness were known by few beyond Erdoğan and his colleagues. 

But then, one day, karma seemed to come full circle.

This week, an umbrella appeared above the dove's traffic light — placed there by a compassionate person unknown to Erdoğan, but for whom the bird's well-being was of obvious importance.

Apparently no one witnessed the umbrella being mounted there, but the thought behind the gesture — to protect the bird from the scorching sun — was easily understood.

And from there, word began to spread.

News outlets across Turkey have since reported on the dove's new umbrella, proving just how far and wide a simple gesture of kindness toward animals can reverberate. Erdoğan hopes others will be inspired.

"I want this kind of event to be a model for everyone," he told Anadolu Agency. "It's a human event."

And making the dove more comfortable couldn't have come at a better time.

Hakan Erdoğan

On a recent visit to the nest, Erdoğan discovered that the dove will soon be a mother yet again to two babies of her own — a new generation to be brought up in that cool shade of kindness.