Bookstore Tourism: Istanbul

The recently opened Kitap Koala bookstore in Istanbul’s Şişli district offers 30,000 books to its customers with the commitment to give all of its profits to animal shelters and cover the medical needs of stray animals all over Turkey.

The goal of the Kitap Koala project is to sell books to contribute to the literacy of society and to create a fund to support the medical needs of the stray animals in the meantime, according to a staff member of the bookstore.

“Kitap Koala was founded as a result of a childhood dream. It was an idea of an ambulance responding to wounded and helpless stray animals. When we realized that it would not be sustainable through donations, we turned it to a social enterprise model,” said operations director Selinay Şahin (pictured above).

The booksellers have created a nationwide network of animal rights volunteers who find cats and dogs in need. They then inform Kitap Koala staff who commit funds for veterinary care. The booksellers also send food to animal shelters and treatment facilities. As part of the practice, they also provide animal food to individual volunteers who feed stray animals in their locality.

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