updated 11:41 pm EDT, Sat April 5, 2014
Stunning Istanbul store to be followed by second store, rumor has it
As scheduled, Apple opened its first-ever retail store in Turkey on Saturday morning, revealing a remarkable above-ground glass rectangular skylight that hides an underground two story store. The event in Istanbul attracted large crowds that circled the building and spilled out into other parts of the spectacular Zorlu Centre, with the new store situated as the jewel in the crown below the mall's main plaza, surrounded by high-end retailers.
As remarkably clever as the Apple's store's plaza skylight is, the entire center is an eye-opening architectural marvel, with eight floors of very environmentally-friendly offices and shops and walkways surrounding the open-air plaza, with three tall office towers built on top of that. As seen in the gallery below, both the Apple Store and its surroundings in the Instanbul center are a world-class showcase for the company and the city. The store is not only the first in Turkey, but also the first to open in eastern Europe/Asia Minor, reports AppleInsider.
A number of YouTube videos have been posted of the event, particularly this one that captures the pre-opening moments and large crowds lined up on a Saturday morning. There had been reports that Apple CEO Tim Cook and Turkish President Abdullah Güll would attend the opening, but these turned out to be inaccurate. However, Apple Retail Vice President Steve Cano came to the opening, and Cook congratulated Turkey on the opening in a tweet, which read "Teşekkür ederim to our customers in Istanbul and all the people of Turkey."