Abdurrahman Cengiz, co-owner of Burç Lebon, said the patisserie was likely to cease to serve customers at the end of December.
“We have been running this business for 36 years. Lebon is the first, even maybe the first patisserie in Turkey. It was launched by a French couple back in 1810. We obtained a patent for Lebon and have been trying to keep it open for nearly four decades,” Cengiz said, noting that they will have to close the landmark store due to financial conflict.
He said that they were the tenants of the Karagözyan Armenian Foundation, which has been complaining that the rent they pay for the store was too low.
“For years, they have been trying to evacuate us and had an evacuation order issued. But, the Court of Cassation ruled in favor of us,” he added.
Cengiz stated that they pay 32,000 Turkish Liras (around $3,700) monthly rent, but the foundation has asked to raise the monthly rent to 60,000 liras.
He added that the foundation had not renewed the lease contract since 2010. “According to law, the owner of a property can ask you to evacuate the premise after ten years of tenancy, and they don’t have to provide any reason for this.”
“I am very sad. Beyoğlu has changed a lot…Beyoğlu is not like the one it used to be anymore,” he said.
Recently, Denizler Kitabevi, one of the last-standing symbolic bookstores of Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue, has decided to close its doors for financial reasons, paving the way for a fast-food hub to establish in its place.
Over the past decade, several such establishments, including famous İnci Patisserie and Demir Cafe or cinemas, were forced to either close their doors or move to other locations in the city.
Hurriyet Daily News