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    Where to Find English Books in Ankara

    Part of my job as a librarian in Turkey is adding new English books to our catalog. And our students love to read new books.


    English books in Ankara


    I have brought at least a couple hundred books from the States. But really, there’s only so many books you can fit into a suitcase when you’re trying to make room for all of your personal items, too. Mailing books to Turkey is not the greatest option. We do purchase some books online from the UK, but the shipping takes forever.

    Fortunately, English books are becoming more and more available. Here’s my guide to purchasing English books in Ankara. (All of these stores have plenty of adult fiction. My notes are more for parents and students.)

     Arkadas Bookstore {Image Source}

    Arkadaş Kitabevi (Kentpark Mall, top floor) Eskişehir Highway No: 164, Çankaya
    Phone: (0312) 219 9244
    Arkadaş is my favorite place to find English books in Ankara. They have a large English section in the back that includes a wall of classics, recent bestsellers, a young adult fiction section, as well as several non-fiction books. Near the front of the store by the windows is an impressive children’s section including picture books, step books, activity books, and non-fiction books.



    Bookish bookstore{Image Source}

    Filistin Sokak No: 17/A, Gaziosmanpaşa 06700
    Phone: (0312) 447‑4734
    Bookish is a great stop for high school students for both fiction and non-fiction books. There is a small selection of picture books, juvenile literature, and several English magazines.



    D&R Bookstore{Image Source}

    D&R Stores
    D&R Stores are in several of the malls including Taurus, Cepa, Armada, Ankamall, Next Level, and Panora. You can typically find popular and bestselling novels here. Many carry a few juvenile novels, as well as English magazines. The D&R with the best selection is located in Tunali. It is across from Kuğulu Park and is several stories tall. (You can’t miss it!) The basement floor has a small section of English picture books. You can find a large wall of novels on the level below the café.



     Homer Bookstore{Image Source}

    Homer Kitabevi
    Bestekar Sokak No: 35, Küçükesat
    Phone: (0312) 426‑0777
    This store has an excellent children’s section in the back full of picture books (fiction and non-fiction) for elementary students. They also have several step leveled readers. There is a small selection of juvenile chapter books (but not as many as the Arkadaş). There is a huge wall of English novels that may be appropriate for secondary students. When we visited, almost everything in the basement was discounted.



    Remzi bookstore{Image Source}

    Remzi Kitabevi (Armada Mall, across from Starbucks)
    Eskişehir Yolu Armada Alışveriş Ve İş Merkezi No: 6 D: 38, Söğütözü
    Phone: (0312) 219‑1112
    English books can be found on the left side of the store. Remzi carries recent bestsellers and some classics. They have a small section of juvenile chapter books, plenty of travel guides, non-fiction books, and some English magazines.


    Another something worth mentioning: most Turkish DVDs have English as a viewing option (just check the back of the case). I’ve purchased several Disney classics for 10TL (around $5USD)! Make sure you have a universal DVD player, otherwise, you might not be able to play them because of region code issues.

    Are there other stores in Ankara where you’ve found English books?



    Expat Life: June & Goodbyes

    As expats in Turkey, we live our life cyclically, mostly based around the school calendar. Lest it appear like it’s all cool students and travel and fun, before we know it June arrives. And June is hard. June is when we say a lot of goodbyes.

    Part of me feels like I don’t have a right to claim a piece of the June-is-hard-goodbye pie; this is only our second year as expats. There are people and families who have been doing this for decades. One mom told me that while she looks forward to the no pain and no sorrow in heaven, she most looks forward to the fact there will be no goodbyes. There are kids in our community who have been saying goodbyes every year for most of their lives. And these are kids who might actually never see their friends again in this lifetime. But when I think about it, just as I shouldn’t discount the feelings of anyone else, I also shouldn’t disregard my own.


    Ankara orange sunset


    We love this international community. Since we’re all in a different culture together, we struggle together. We depend on each other for understanding and support. We’ve created our own little world. I like how The Culture Blend explains the relationship between expats:

    We like these people. We connect on a level that is deeper than the surface. We help each other. We laugh with each other. When something horrible happens to one of us we all understand the pain of going through it away from home so we all try to fill in the gaps.  –Jerry Jones, The Culture Blend

    Whether it’s because of embassy contracts or other commitments, we spend the last few weeks of school figuring out who is leaving and who is returning. We were told on the last day of school that several students found out that day they won’t be returning.

    Aside from the student body constantly changing, so does our school staff. (Note: All of this is not to discount our friends that are returning next year and the new friendships that will come.) Last year, it was very sad to say goodbye to friends. This year, some of our closest friends are returning to the States. And as much as we are excited for them and understand, it’s still hard. They’ve been such a big part of our life in Turkey, and approaching goodbyes was a grieving process.

    The reason why it was so hard is because they’ve been such wonderful friends. I’m thankful we’ve had friends that understood us, laughed with us, joked with us, shared meals with us, traveled with us, celebrated with us. Bo told us his dad said, “It sounds like you’ve found your Christmas card friends.” These are people we will keep up with for the rest of our lives.

    So Brittany, Kendall, Bo – we love you guys. Thanks for being on this journey with us and for being our family. Our goodbyes are only goodbyes for now. We’ll see you all soon. 🙂


    Week One and a Confession

    It’s been 8 days since we arrived in Turkey. We attended new teacher orientation this past week in the mornings. Our afternoons have been filled with settling into our apartments, preparing our classrooms for the school year, and shopping for supplies.


    David in front of the school


    Most days have been “çok iyi” (choke-eeyee) – very good. It’s been wonderful to learn more about the school and our host country at orientation. The returning teachers have been arriving back to the school and they are warm and welcoming. We’re learning more Turkish phrases to help us at the grocery store and restaurants. We met a friendly neighbor. The apartment is slowly coming together and becoming more of a home.

    There was also one day that was “çok iyi değil” (choke-eeyee-dee-eel) – not very good. This particular day’s emotions was an accumulation of several things. Though we didn’t suffer greatly from jet lag, I was fatigued, became more irritable, and was not kind to my husband. Things selfishly became all about me and my inabilities. I felt worried about and unequipped to do the job I was hired to do. We went to the grocery store and instead of grabbing the toilet paper we needed (at a great price!), I got an 8-pack of paper towels. I started a load of laundry – the typical, easy task of laundry – and I broke the door handle off of our washing machine. The day ended with me sobbing in David’s arms. I so undeservingly have a kind and forgiving husband. We both needed forgiveness that night, and vocalized that the frustrations we had with adjusting to our new surroundings should not be aimed at each other. We are on the same team.


    These two verses will be very important to me as I continue to adjust:

    • Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20–21 {emphasis added}
    • He must become greater; I must become less.” – John 3:30



    1. Safe travel for the rest of the teachers: Some of the teachers will be traveling this weekend from the states to Turkey.
    2. Prayers for our roles as teachers: We have a lot to prepare before the school year starts!
    3. Our adjustment period: There is still a lot to learn – public transportation routes, language, more about the school, paying bills,  etc. Please pray we will have patience and an open heart and mind.