Over the past several centuries, the power and influence of European monarchies over the politics of their respective countries may have diminished, but their castles, castles and majestic palaces have endured. There is something about the unmistakable extravagance and opulence of the accommodations that makes them utterly timeless, and perhaps this is what led the Yerdelen brothers, Turkish real estate entrepreneurs, to build a sprawling village, nicknamed Burj Al Babas, with 732 mini-castles near the Black. Sea.
After all, it made sense: Wealthy foreigners not interested in the south of France or the northeastern tip of Spain could enjoy the Mediterranean climate on the Gothic-style roof terraces overlooking the lush Turkish forest. Not to mention that the promoters of the project, Sarot Group (led by the brothers and their partner Bülent Yılmaz), have carefully chosen the location of their small kingdom: in the Roman spa town of Mudurnu, known and appreciated for its hot springs and waters. putative curative. Each villa would have underfloor heating and Jacuzzis on all levels, reinforcing the idea of European luxury in the Middle East.
Then the Turkish economy came to a halt due to a failed political coup, terrorist attacks and, of course, the pandemic, and the promoters were forced to file for bankruptcy. Additionally, investors and buyers withdrew their money from the $ 200 million project, which did not help Sarot Group’s hopes to rebound, and the ancient mansion-strewn valley has turned into a neighborhood of empty shells. and semi-finished.
From a distance, the gray-roofed neighborhood looks like something out of a Disney movie – maybe The beauty and the Beast– but, on closer inspection, Burj Al Babas has an eerie post-apocalyptic feel with rows of partially completed castles, irregular landscaping, and zero signs of life. The empty village is spooky to say the least – like a sparkling war-torn town.