Ekin Kitabevi

Ekin Kitabevi, a Turkish bookstore with more than just books

Looking for a Turkish book, a Dutch, English, or Turkish language course, or cat training? Bookstore Ekin Kitabevi offers it all and will be open in the Urban Shopper from March. “Are you coming to take a look?” asks owner Melis. Eighteen months ago, Melis and her daughter exchanged the Turkish capital Ankara for Eindhoven. “I wanted to offer my daughter a brighter future, especially in the field of education. So, I started looking for a city that could offer us this. After a lot of googling, I discovered that Eindhoven scores high on quality of life and safety. So, I decided to move to Eindhoven,” Melis explains.

Looking for Turkish children’s books

The two like this choice. “The people here are very friendly. Everyone was very helpful with everything I had to arrange, especially in the beginning. That’s nice.” Melis and her daughter managed to find their feet in Eindhoven, but Melis would also like to teach her daughter Turkish. “So, I started looking for Turkish children’s books. It turned out I couldn’t find it here. Not in Eindhoven and not online either. In any case, not the pedagogically sound books I was looking for. So, I started my own online bookstore.”

First Turkish bookstore in the Netherlands

“The online store was doing well, there appeared to be a demand for Turkish books. I chose each book carefully. Three months ago, I expanded the range to include books for adults because I couldn’t find those anywhere either.” That was a good moment for Melis to think about a physical store, where people can walk around, leaf through books, and read a few lines. “With such a specific target group like mine, that choice was risky but also smart. This would be the first Turkish bookstore in the Netherlands. So, I decided to go for it.”

Bringing people together

March 1 is Ekin Kitabevi – Ekin is the name of Melis’ daughter, kitabevi means ‘bookshop’! – opened and besides the fact that you will find a nice range of Turkish books, you can also enjoy various activities. “Enough Turkish people don’t speak Dutch, so I decided to offer language courses. For anyone who wants. All kinds of different workshops are also given; from an illustration course for children to a cat course to learn more about your cat. And the store serves as a location for a book club.” This makes Ekin Kitabevi not only a bookstore but also a place that brings people together.