Bookworms rejoice! Historic Istanbul dock now shop book-coffee-gift

28/03/2014 09:23

A building on one of Istanbul’s historic docks, Katip Çelebi, no longer functions as an aid to shipping. Instead, it now stands ready to receive visitors as a combined bookstore, coffee house and gift shop, the only one in the city dedicated to Istanbul.

The old building in the Eminönü neighborhood has been recently turned into a book shop where people can enjoy a cup of coffee and a good read with a panoramic view of one of the most significant cities in history, Istanbul.

Local visitors and international tourists will find a broad range of souvenirs. All of them reflect the life, history, and beauty of Istanbul, and they are sold under the brand name Hediyem Istanbul (My Gift Istanbul), which was created in 2013 to promote the city with various paraphernalia, including bags, cups, purses, notebooks, pens, magnets, bottles, and more.

A concept for coffee lovers and bookworms

“Let’s imagine that you are planning a day out with your whole family,” Fatih Yavaş, Istanbul Culture and Art Products Inc. Co. Projects Manager, said. “The father plans to read a book or a journal while drinking a cup of coffee; the mother wants to get away from housework and buy some souvenirs; and the children are eager to be busy with children’s books accompanied by their parents. Well, there is just the place: Istanbul Kitapçısı located in the historical port of Katip Çelebi,”

“With a new concept, we created a place for the coffee and book enthusiasts where they can also enjoy the great scenes of Istanbul with Çamlıca Hill on one side and Galata Tower on the other,” he said. “Our aim is to please people here surrounded by books, coffee, and Istanbul-designed gifts.”
Istanbul Kitapçısı, or The Istanbul Bookstore, which started publishing in 2005 has been selling books related to the culture, history, literature, arts, and civilization of Istanbul, Turkey’s economic, cultural, and historical heart.

Among its publications is a remarkable series called “Hundreds of Istanbul,” including such books as “A Hundred Fountains of Istanbul,” “A Hundred Newspapers of Istanbul,” “A Hundred Buildings of Istanbul,” “A Hundred Villages of Istanbul,” and “A Hundred Architects of Istanbul.”

Great attention in series

Yavaş said the series had attracted great attention and that work was underway to publish more books in the series. “Istanbul Kitapçısı also offers many books in foreign languages which all tell something about this magnificent city, like ‘Step by Step Istanbul: European Capital Of Culture,’ ‘The World Beneath Istanbul,’ ‘Istanbul: 8000 Years Brought to Daylight, Marmaray, Metro, Sultan Ahmet Excavations,’“ he said.

Today, there are six branches of “Istanbul Kitapçısı” across the city, including one on İstiklal Avenue, one in Kadıköy, another in the Panorama 1453 Historical Museum, two in Süleymaniye district and the newest one on the old Katip Çelebi dock, which is the only one with coffee house and gift shop inside. “A few new branches will be opened: first in Beşiktaş port, later in the Üsküdar and Kuzguncuk neighborhoods,” Yavaş said. “We are now on the bottom rung of the ladder. There is a long way to go; we need to work hard to publish more books which will offer an insight into the history of Istanbul, which has been the center of many civilizations.”

Visitors can find a broad range of souvenirs at the Istanbul Kitapçısı, or The Istanbul Bookstore, located in Eminönü’s historical port of Katip Çelebi.