"Atatürk's pharmacy" closes in Istanbul

A ninety-nine year old pharmacy, which was known as Atatürk’s Pharmacy, shut down on Dec. 31, 2017 in Istanbul due to financial problems, moderate Islamist newspaper Karar said.

Istanbul Pharmacy, founded in 1919 by Hüseyin Hüsnü Sarı, was shut down due to the financial problems caused by the difficulties in Ulus Bazaar, where the pharmacy rented premises for 55 years.

Pharmacist Ömer Faruk Erdem said he had been running the pharmacy since 1979 but he had lost his motivation to run it after the rumours saying the Ulus Bazaar is going to be demolished, the newspaper said.

“The municipality sent notices to the shops whose contracts were over to empty the building,” Erdem was quoted as saying. “We received the same notice. The shopkeepers couldn’t carry out their trade with courage because of this reason.”

Erdem said the late founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, had been a customer of the pharmacy.

“We had a credit book and 45 pages of it belonged to Atatürk. At the end of every month the invoices used to be sent to the parliament,” he said. “The last time a medicine was sent to Atatürk is shown as Oct. 20, 1938.”

“At that time Atatürk, was on his sickbed at the Dolmabahçe Palace,” Erdem said. “I saw those medicines on a tour of the palace.”

Atatürk died on Nov. 10, 1938.