Nostalgic pharmacy in Istanbul ‘healing’ for more than a century
A 119-year-old pharmacy that witnessed the last periods of the Ottoman Empire and the founding of the Turkish Republic continues to help people regain their health at a small, modest shop in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district.
Standing out with its distinct interior featuring decades-old dark brown wooden panels and with its enchanting scent, the “Yeni Moda Eczanesi” (New Moda Pharmacy) seems to take its visitors on a short journey to recent history from the outside.
Founded in 1902 by Faik İskender Göksel under the name of “Eczane-i Saadet” (Pharmacy of Bliss) in Kadıköy, the shop later moved to its current place in Moda quarter in 1928, and its name was changed to Moda Pharmacy, now run by 89-year-old Melih Ziya Sezer.
Speaking to Demirören News Agency, Sezer said pharmacy is an art, not a trade.
“Medicines were produced in pharmacies before the industrialization of the sector in the 1950s. Pharmacies had cough syrups, syrups of all kinds and ointments. Back then, doctors would send formulas for preparing medicines instead of prescriptions, and we would mix and prepare them,” he noted.
“I still have some customers bringing me formulas, and I try to prepare medicine, but most of them ask for ready-made medicines,” Sezer added.
However, he does not neglect to emphasize that drug preparation is a very delicate task and can lead to deadly results.
The veteran pharmacist said that he did not have a contract with any insurance institution and that even credit cards are not valid in his shop, noting that he wants to work as long as he can.
“I don’t know what will happen to it after I die,” he said, noting that he could not foresee whether the shop would become a museum or be sold after his death and that the decision belonged to his family.