Beyoğlu’s iconic bookstore forced to relocate, as volunteers pass books from hand to hand
Volunteer bookworms were on hand to carry Robinson Crusoe's stock of books across the street, as the store finally said farewell to its classic location.The iconic English-language bookstore Robinson Crusoe in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu district has been forced to move from its well-known location on the central İstiklal Avenue, after struggling to pay its rent in an increasingly tough area for small businesses.
The store has relocated to the fourth floor of the nearby SALT Beyoğlu art gallery, and volunteer bookworms were on hand to carry its stock of books across the street, as the store finally said farewell to its classic location.
Robinson Crusoe, which opened almost 20 years ago, issued a message criticizing the recent invasion of chain brands on Istanbul’s main pedestrian avenue.
“As part of İstiklal Avenue’s multicultural landscape, which is facing the increasing threat of uniformization, [we are moving] in order to resist without going too far,” the message stated.
Workers at the bookstore said their rent, which had been 25,000 Turkish Liras (over $12,000) per month, had recently been almost tripled by the landlord to $35,000.
Many Istanbul bookstores are on the brink of disappearing due to rising rental costs, and many have denounced the lack of municipality assistance for small shops.