Akmerkez was chosen as the best shopping center in Europe Akmerkez is an elegant shopping mall located in the Etiler quarter of Istanbul, Turkey. It was commissioned on December 18, 1993 by a joint venture of the Akkök, Tekfen and Istikbal companies.
The Akmerkez complex covers an area of 180,000 m² and is comprised of a four-storey shopping area, with two towers offering 14 and 17 stories of office space, and a third tower with 24 stories of residential areas. The shopping area, offering visitors close to 250 stores with an ideally balanced shop-mix, is spread over a triangular area connected to the surrounding main roads through 3 atriums. There are 41 escalators, 2 panoramic elevators and 30 elevators providing greater speed and easy access for visitors.
2-2.5 million people visit the shopping center monthly. It provides outstanding women's, men's and children's clothing and textiles, stationery, toys, sports shoes, eyewear and gift shops along with restaurants, a hairdresser, a currency exchange office, electronic goods, car maintenance, shoe shine services, a tailor, travel agents, orthopedic goods and a supermarket for the shopper's every need. The shopping mall is now home to the world famous chic Italian restaurant Paper Moon, following branches in Milan and New York.
Transportation services are provided free of charge for tourists staying in nearby business centers and hotels, allowing for a greater variety of visitors. Visitors spend an average of 3.5 hours in Akmerkez. The world average is 2.5 hours. The cleaning, security and general maintenance is provided by a workforce of 250 people.
Akmerkez extends a special service to its foreign guests with a courtesy card, which entitles them to various discounts of up to 20% in several shops in the shopping mall.
In 1995, Akmerkez was chosen as the best shopping center in Europe by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). In the competition, organized by this same council, Akmerkez was recognized as the best shopping center in the world in 1996. It also received the highest accolade given by the ICSC, the "International Design and Development Award". It is the only shopping center in the world to receive both of these awards.