By Heidi Trautmann
There is a young man with blue eyes sitting opposite me in the new bookshop Café Khora, a stone throw away from the Ledra Palace crossing. On the tables next to us people are intensely discussing some matters over some books in front of them. People come in and look for new arrivals on the shelves and later come back and sit down at the tables next to us. The book rooms are furnished with light coloured wooden shelves full of interesting literature, quite high level, intellectual, also politically committed literature, classic but also contemporary. I was surprised. Art and education are on the first floor, not too well equipped yet. Comfortable fauteuils waiting for you to sit down and start reading. On tables in the centre books of the day.
Merter Refikoğlu, the young man with blue eyes, has opened the Khora Kitap Café only three months ago after he had come back from London where he had made his master degree in city planning. City planning? Yes! “I am much too active to sit behind an office desk and waste my time waiting for a reply from other offices. So I took the chance and opened this bookshop plus Café where people who love books and are interested in exchanging news on the literature scene with people of likewise interests. It is sort of a dream for me.”
Merter Refikoglu has discussed his project with many friends from the literature and poetry scene, has talked to journalists and was given good recommendations.
“Considering the fact that we have only started three months ago we can offer quite a good collection. My dream goes to collect all books on Cyprus and by Cypriot writers, be it new books or antique ones. We have also started to offer literature in English. Time will show.”
A challenge for a lifetime! Will he have literary events such as book presentations in the future, because I see some book announcements on the window panes. “Oh yes, we will have, the first ones were Serpil Yalcin, Eralp Adanir and Gonca Nedim and on November 24 there will be Ali Nesim and his newest book, an epic poem The Cry of an Olive Tree.”
The Khora Kitap Café is situated on Muzzafer Pasa Cad. right at the traffic lights leading to the Ledra Palace check point. Tel. 392 228 9557, mobile 0533 834 7451.