Jul 01 2018

The first of Erdoğan’s coffee houses a hit in Kurdish-majority city

The first of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s 24-hour public coffee houses, which opened in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, is filled to the brim with youth while there is a steady supply of complimentary cake, independent news site Diken reported.

Erdoğan, while campaigning for last month’s presidential and parliamentary elections, had promised voters 24-hour public coffee houses with free cake and drinks, to be filled with books. 

The Turkish president’s promised nation-wide coffee house project kicked off in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority province of Diyarbakır, Diken reported, with a municipal building being transformed into a local hangout spot that resembles a library more than coffee house.

Noting that there are many books on the coffee houses’ shelves ranging from Diyarbakır’s history to Russian classics, Diken stressed that a steady supply of complimentary cake and water arrived at the venue which was mostly frequented by university students.

‘’It’s better to study here than study at home,’’ Diken quoted high school student Saime Demre as saying .

‘’It’s a good environment to study in. It’s cool and they give us tea, too! I’ll be coming back again,’’ another student commented.

Erdoğan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) received 21 percent of the vote in last month's elections, while the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) received 66 percent.