[INFRASTRUCTURE]: The ghost town of castles in Turkey!


Burj Al Babas, Mudurnu in Turkey: Where you'll find the bizarre Turkish ghost town of abandoned Gothic 'castles'.

-None property have space for gardens..

The Yerdelen brothers, construction entrepreneurs from Istanbul was riding a real estate boom, and had plans to build more than 700 minicastles. With turrets and breezy rooftop terraces overlooking the forest, aiming to draw in Arabs from the Gulf countries, who love to come to Turkey for its lush nature and Mediterranean climate. (??)

At first, business seemed good: Half the castles were sold, they said, and building was going apace. Then oil prices slumped, hitting the buyers. Meanwhile, between terrorist attacks, a failed coup attempt and what many experts say was unsustainable borrowing, cronyism and huge public works projects with little economic return, Turkey’s economy ground to a halt.

Now, the development is almost at a standstill as the partners work their way through bankruptcy court but are still allowed to trade, their futures debated regularly in the news media.

Turkey was feted as the place to invest in the early 2000s, its largest city dubbed “Cool Istanbul: Europe’s Hippest City.” Under the business-friendly leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, first as mayor of Istanbul, then prime minister and now president, the economy boomed and real estate prices soared.

The country was busy catching up with Europe in many ways. The government introduced mortgages in 2001 and reformed conditions for foreign buyers to increase investment in the sector. Rich Arabs and Russians joined European customers lining up to buy summer villas on the Aegean coast and luxury apartments and waterside palaces in Istanbul.

Mr. Erdogan made sure that foreigners could buy property relatively easily and dangled citizenship, if the investment in real estate was above $250,000. Developers began all manner of schemes to meet the burgeoning demand.

The Sarot group, run by the Yerdelen brothers and their partner, Bulent Yilmaz, decided to move away from their base in Istanbul, where they mostly worked on water and drainage projects to develop sites around the Roman spa town of Mudurnu in central Turkey, which is famous for its hot springs and healing waters.

The group bought land in several locations and began a hotel and spa complex, Harry Potter-style forest cottages and, in a secluded valley out of town, an entire suburb of minicastles, like a full-size Legoland display.

It was Mr. Yilmaz who first sketched out the idea on paper.

“He drew it, and we made it happen on the ground,” said Mehmet Emin Yerdelen, 56, the coordinator of the project.

For inspiration, they drew on landmark buildings in Istanbul, the Italianate Galata tower and the medieval Maiden’s tower, as well as British and American architecture, said his brother Mezher Yerdelen, 39, the chief executive officer of the Sarot group’s projects.

The result is rows of Disney-style chateaus, with gray-roofed turrets, circular balconies and balustrades, stretching over a million square meters, or 250 acres. A central shopping mall resembles the American Capitol, and lakes and gardens will link the whole.

The development straddles the region’s hot springs, and each minicastle will have under-floor heating and Jacuzzis on every level, with an option for an indoor pool, the brothers promise.

“The thermal water can be used for drinking and steam therapy; it is first class in the world,” said Mezher Yerdelen. “You can drink the waters, and it cures stomach ailments and kidney stones. If you bathe in it, it heals skin problems, rheumatism and slipped disks.”

The company has done geological surveys and already drilled and capped the hot water 200 meters underground. The temperature is 68 degrees Celsius, or 154 degrees Fahrenheit, and the water is plentiful enough to supply and heat the entire complex, he said.

Aiming for the Arab market, the partners named the development the Burj al-Babas Thermal Tourism Company and began marketing the houses through their real estate agency in Kuwait. They broke ground in 2014 and built quickly, with 2,500 workers, aiming to complete the project in just four years.

Buyers snapped up more than 350 of the houses, which are priced between $370,000 and $500,000, depending on location, Mezher Yerdelen said. By last year, half the buildings were underway.

Then world events intervened. And the Yerdelen brothers, like many other developers, began to feel the fallout.

“Our sales dried up,” Mezher Yerdelen said. Some customers canceled their agreements, some stopped their payments. The company applied for bankruptcy but on appeal won the right to continue trading so they can complete the contracted houses.

Mezher Yerdelen remains optimistic that the real estate market in Turkey will bounce back in 2019.

According to figures published by the Association of Real Estate Investment Companies in Turkey, foreign buyers have been returning since 2018. Roughly a third are from Arab Gulf countries.

On a recent tour, the castles looked like a vision out of a fairy tale under a light covering of snow, but up close they were largely empty shells. Construction was stopped for the coldest period of the winter and only a few gardens have been landscaped.

The mayor of Mudurnu, Mehmet Inegol, is an energetic supporter of the development and says the construction complies with all regulations. “Not one single tree was cut for the development,” he said. “In fact the investors chose the valley for its forests.”

Critics of the development include Orhan Sarialtun, president of the Chamber of Urban Planners in Ankara, Turkey’s capital, who complains that the architecture is not in harmony with Mudurnu’s traditional architecture.

He also objects to the concept of such development, saying that the extensive project would inevitably damage the forest and that the sale of secondary holiday homes that lie empty much of the year will not benefit the region as much as a hotel project might.

In the meantime the Yerdelen brothers are absorbed in dealing with the demands of the clients — all from the Gulf — they have secured so far. All the minicastles are identical on the outside, but clients have a choice among three different layouts and décor inside.

An elevator can be installed, as can cupboards in the bedrooms, an open-plan kitchen and bathrooms on every floor. And the indoor pool is optional.

Each mansion has its own garden, but there is little space between the buildings. Mezher Yerdelen said that most Arab customers already have lived in the United States and the West and are used to living in detached or semidetached housing, in proximity with their neighbors. “They don’t mind,” he said.

Some clients do want more privacy, and ask to enclose the property, Mehmet Emin Yerdelen said. “They ask for walls,” he said, “but I say no, there will be trees instead.” He has planted evergreen shrubs to create a natural screen around some of the gardens.

Some buyers remain optimistic about the project. Imad Yousef, a real estate broker in Kuwait, is one of them. “I hope to make some money, and I will use it myself,” he said. “When the project is finished, God willing, it will be amazing.”

For the unsold castles the brothers hope to develop timeshare agreements and divide them into apartments, with payment in installments. And as the Turkish lira has fallen, prices could fall.

Some have criticized the architecture and others the extensive development, but the mayor says it will bring much-needed employment. The government has promised road, rail and air links to the region, including a high-speed train passing through the area and connecting Ankara and Istanbul. The season for visiting Mudurnu runs all year, as the hot springs never lose their appeal, Mezher Yerdelen said.

“Those today who criticize the architecture, tomorrow they are going to pay to come and see them,” Mr. Inegol said.

The homes were reportedly on the market from US$400,000 (£310,000), but interested parties may be able to negotiate a REAL GOOD argain.

I still wonder if they never heard of a garage, garden party or at least a backyard in Turkey? Cause I can't see on the images where to park two cars per family or for visiting guests. They built the houses so damn tight, almost glued to each other, that you can almost hold out your hand through your castle window, and touch your neighbors castle. This project is doomed. Hope they keep it as it is, because it could be a globetrotter location to have visited. See YOU in another article.

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
3 + 3 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.

Recommended reading [ Posts, articles, documents ]


COPIAGUE, NY - A Lindenhurst man was arrested after he was caught recklessly driving an ATV on Sunrise Highway in Copiague on Saturday evening, according to Suffolk Police.


The Florida man who gained instant internet fame for choosing jail instead of removing the “I eat a–” decal on his car said Wednesday that only “sour apples” don’t like his raunchy sticker — which he will continue to drive around with, intact, since free speech “...


Background history: We needed the best newsticker on the market for our own websites, and we bought all of them, but none of them was advanced enough, easy to use, and worked on all computers and systems. They always had flaws somewhere.


The definition of "political avenue" are built on the fact that a political decision affects the road of life-choices people have access to when they 'travel' through their lifes or the options politicians make available to them.

Report internet garbage on this webpage 24 hours. Apr 16 0 By POLITICAL AVENUE

On this page you can report the worst and shitty online garbage content that made it's way up to the internet.


Police in the Netherlands are investigating the brutal torture of a bitcoin trader, whose home was raided by criminals looking for cryptocurrency.


The Department of Justice on Thursday announced a criminal charge against Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange, accusing him of conspiring to hack into a classified U.S. government computer.


Honestly, check the CNBC headline:
'Alexa, find me a doctor': Amazon Alexa adds new medical skills

Amazon is moving more deeply into the $3.5 trillion health care sector.


Want to learn more about SIGINT? -Read this.
Here's the evidence from within the NSA organization. Even when the original document is dated a bunch of years back in time, we think of it as a schoolbook example of what USA is up to.


Twenty-nine-year old Devon Alexander, of Coraopolis, worked as a behavioral specialist at the Pace Special Education School in Churchill. The drugs included suspected cocaine, crack cocaine, raw and packaged heroin, a plastic bag of Xanax, marijuana and ecstasy.


Why is it a brown-red ring-of-light around the moon! You know, we don't have brown-red clouds in Sweden. What causes the brown-red light around it, never seen before? The shining lasted for a total of 2-3 days and was not constant.


World's most powerful nuclear submarines, Arkhangelsk and Severstal, are to be dismantled after 2020. The Russian federal nuclear power watchdog, Rosatom, found their further exploitation unprofitable.

-None property have space for gardens.. Mar 3 0 By POLITICAL AVENUE

The Yerdelen brothers, construction entrepreneurs from Istanbul was riding a real estate boom, and had plans to build more than 700 minicastles.


CYBERTERRORISM is the use of modern communication technology in the commission of terrorist activities.


At the height of his power, Escobar was said to be the seventh richest man in the world, with his Medellin drugs cartel thought to be behind -up to- 80 percent of all the cocaine shipped to the United States.


NEW DELHI: Gearing up for its most challenging space mission, Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) is leaving no stone unturned to make the Chandrayaan-2 (lunar-2) mission a success.


Abwehr scored perhaps its greatest victories in the area of industrial espionage, as agents managed to steal the blueprint for every major American airplane produced in the war effort.


Shorn on the sides, thick on top for the Kim Jong-un look; bright and blonde for the Donald Trump-loving customers. -A creative Hanoi barber is offering free cuts ahead of the leaders’ meeting in the next week in their Vietnamese capital.


Time for a history lesson ! - Here's some old newspaper frontpages you might recognize in memory lane! *Hitler is dead* *Hindenburg* etc.
This is a relatively new post, and it will be updated later with more frontpage material.


Hello. My name is Ed Snowden. A little over one month ago, I had family, a home in paradise, and I lived in great comfort. I also had the capability without any warrant to search for, seize, and read your communications. Anyone’s communications at any time.

Most of the news published here, you can read in tomorrow's newspaper,
or watch on your television news first in 2 - 3 hours. It's a fast robot to pick up all news fast.
Most often within 30 seconds from when the news first got released or published the first time in any part of the world.
So all news reports, from all news agencies, you have here within the same minute of release. Really quick!
We could adjust it to update every second (technically possible), but it will be considered overload of the news agencies websites, and not popular at all.
So you will have to be okey with one or two intel and news robot automatic updates per minute. Which is still the best news reporting on the market.
Considering the amount of sources we update on (over 100 https:// news channels) per minute. Everything automated 24 hours and 7 days per week.
The goal is to provide the best global overview. And to program the best free Internet tool to stay globally updated at all times.
Example: A nuclear plant outside Oslo, Norway, has a major accident. You want to know more about the situation.
Here you can follow many newsreports from several reporting sources like Reuters, AP, TASS, BBC and CNN to quickly and without to much trouble, asses more information about the accident and get a better overview of the whole situation fast! That's the greatness of this intelligence and news website.
And although some of our clients already work in intelligence agencies and have excellent reporting, they are not always at work having that access.
So when not at work and you wish to have a global update, you are of course welcome here, as the rest of us! Just type NSAROBOT.COM
Hold your mousepointer here in the grey window, or dot it, if you have touchscreen.

Click on the orange button to subscribe to the WORLD NEWS AS REPORTED - RSS FEED!

It works great if you want to have a VERY good up-to-date check of what's happening globally. This delivers all the main news directly to your computer via RSS functions. RSS is an acronym for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary. It is an XML-based method for distributing the latest news and information from a website that can be easily read by a variety of news readers or aggregators. All the world news in one easy to read RSS source / or / website intel category page, Sir & Ma'm!
We have developed the world/&/political news RSS with 1000 news items for supplying foreign intelligence agencies with global information and important intel newsitems dating up to 3 days back in time.
[ Works perfect with net/surf/software Firefox & MS Edge ]
You get all intel/newsitems delivered directly to your computer!

Updates automatically by our news and intel robot every minute. - All the world news as reported from Washington Post.All the Reuters News Directory at https://www.politicalavenue.comAll the CNN NEWS -click here!The BEST ACCOMPLISHED website WE KNOW of /says NSA about the political avenue - are trustworthy says politicalavenue.com news agency page.