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Apple opens first store in Turkey to hoopla, press, long lineups

updated 11:41 pm EDT, Sat April 5, 2014

Stunning Istanbul store to be followed by second store, rumor has it

As scheduled, Apple opened its first-ever retail store in Turkey on Saturday morning, revealing a remarkable above-ground glass rectangular skylight that hides an underground two story store. The event in Istanbul attracted large crowds that circled the building and spilled out into other parts of the spectacular Zorlu Centre, with the new store situated as the jewel in the crown below the mall's main plaza, surrounded by high-end retailers.

As remarkably clever as the Apple's store's plaza skylight is, the entire center is an eye-opening architectural marvel, with eight floors of very environmentally-friendly offices and shops and walkways surrounding the open-air plaza, with three tall office towers built on top of that. As seen in the gallery below, both the Apple Store and its surroundings in the Instanbul center are a world-class showcase for the company and the city. The store is not only the first in Turkey, but also the first to open in eastern Europe/Asia Minor, reports AppleInsider.

A number of YouTube videos have been posted of the event, particularly this one that captures the pre-opening moments and large crowds lined up on a Saturday morning. There had been reports that Apple CEO Tim Cook and Turkish President Abdullah Güll would attend the opening, but these turned out to be inaccurate. However, Apple Retail Vice President Steve Cano came to the opening, and Cook congratulated Turkey on the opening in a tweet, which read "Teşekkür ederim to our customers in Istanbul and all the people of Turkey."

by MacNN Staff



  1. coffeetime

    Senior User

    Joined: 11-15-06

    Amazing to see line forming at Apple Store to buy Apple products anywhere in the world. There's new Microsoft Store just opened recently at Farmington Mall, Connecticut, not far from where I live. There were also line but these people were there for one purpose..... getting free concert tickets! LOL. LOL. LOL. LOL. LOL. Or free MS Suite for iPad.

  1. kerryb

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-05-01

    is it just me or does that place look like mecca?

  1. aardman

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 11-18-09

    Great kerryb, and now get Al Qaeda and the Taliban all worked up about this.

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 11-28-08

    It appears as nearly as many Apple employees as there are customers. Anyway, it doesn't look as though Apple is going out of business any time soon as some anti-Apple critics are always claiming.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    Actually, Istanbul has a very diverse mix of people; the store is located in the "European" side of the city, with rumors that Apple will build another one on the "Asian" side. While predominantly Muslim in population, the government is stable and secular, which I think has been the key to its growth over the last couple of decades.

  1. msuper69

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 01-16-00

    chas_m: I agree. Turkey is an exception to the popular concept of a Muslim country. As long as the Turks stay true to the founder's vision (a modern, secular democratic state with religious freedom for all faiths and a country that fully participates in world affairs), they will do fine. Ankara should get the next Apple Store. It's not that difficult to cross over to the European side; it's a lot harder for the millions in Ankara to visit the Istanbul store.

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-20-01

    Well, slap me silly. So these earlier pics really weren't renderings. Crate & Barrel, right there. Ok, I'll shut up about that now.

  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 11-03-09

    Having that poster of iJobs reminds me of images you see of North Korea with the Kim Jong Il paintings or Iran with the Ayatollah posters everywhere you look. Something very Big Brother about it. How ironic!

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    msuper69: I have a feeling an Ankara store is in the works but not yet announced.

    Jeronimo2000: I know, they did look like renderings in some shots!

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