Istanbul's Pandora Bookstore is closing its original branch in the Beyoğlu district, in business since 1991, on July 31.
The Beyoğlu branch's head Ozan Kocatürk cited the “transformation of İstiklal Avenue, economic crisis, the increase in the rent and book prices” as the reason for the decision, according to reporting by Medyascope.
Kocatürk said that Pandora was the first bookstore that was opened on İstiklal Avenue after 1980 and had become a symbol of Beyoğlu and its residents.
He said that prices of Turkish books had reached 100 liras, which led to a decrease in sales. “And on top of that, when you add the abnormal increase of four-five times in rent, this has created an unbearable cost. And we have taken a decision to close here,” he said.
“Since the economic crisis and increase in foreign exchange rates changed the demographics of people going outside, the sales of bookstores have been decreasing.”
He also said that there is not a single paper mill in Turkey which is why book producers are dependent abroad for the paper and therefore exchange rate.
“I have been here since 2005. The closure of here is not easy for me. I am not thinking of passing by this street for a long time. Maybe I would not go out on İstiklal Avenue for a long time,” he said.
Pandora Bookstore will continue to give service at its remaining two branches, in the Nişantaşı district and at Koç University.
Last year, Denizler Bookstore, another symbolic bookstore of İstiklal Avenue, also closed its doors due to financial reasons. It moved to a new place in the nearby Kuledibi neighborhood.