Bookshop theft “pleases” owner

A book thief broke into a Fethiye bookshop recently and stole ten books. The owner's response may surprise you...

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Bookshop theft “pleases” owner

A thief broke into a bookshop in Fethiye and stole ten books.

The owner, hoping that the books were stolen for reading, said that stealing books in Turkey, where the reading rate is so low, was encouraging.

Cumhur Durmaz - book shop owner

The incident occurred at the Sahaf Bookstore on the promenade in the centre of Fethiye. According to the owner, an anonymous person, who arrived on a bicycle, entered the store at night. To begin with, he browed through the books at the front of the store, which are covered at night, before breaking open the door and entering the shop. He did not take anything ‘valuable’ said the owner: just the 10 books. These, he stashed away in his bicycle basket before peddling off. The theft was recorded on the shop’s security camera.

The book thief - caught on the shop's security camera

Cumhur Durmaz, the owner of the bookshop, told the media: “When we arrived in the morning we noticed that some of the books displayed outside and inside the shop had been thumbed through and some were missing.  We studied out security camera and saw that someone arrived on a bicycle, stayed inside for about 5-10 minutes and left with about 10 books. I cannot say this is a theft. In a country where the reading rate is so low, the fact that someone has stolen books has made me happy. I am only sorry that the other books were left in a bit of a mess. I cannot call this a theft because only the books were taken. As a bookseller, I don’t know whether I should be pleased or sorry that someone came to my shop at night and took some books away.”


Durmaz stressed that theft was certainly not something to be praised.

“Only books were taken. If the person is traced, I may withdraw my complaint. As a bookseller, my motto is: ‘we may not be able to solve people’s financial problems but maybe we can resolve their need for books.’ Rather than stealing books, if someone came to me and asked for one, I would give it to them most willingly.”



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