In a northern part of Turkey, already snowed at this time of the year, hundreds of faux châteaux have been built. These castles are not topped with precious gems, nor does a French noble live in them. It is a complex of villas with spa and shopping center that have not yet been opened because its builders have had to declare bankruptcy.
The project is known as Burj Al Babas and is aimed at rich investors of the Persian Gulf. According to Bloomberg, when it is completed it will have 732 French-style villas, swimming pools, Turkish baths, saunas, health centers, beauty centers, water parks, a gym, a shopping center with cinema and restaurants, basketball courts, tracks of tennis and two soccer fields. It also has a mosque and is located two hours from a ski center.
But the future of the complex is in doubt. Last week, a court ordered the construction company Grupo Sarot to declare bankruptcy for a debt of 27 million dollars. According to Bloomberg, the group had already finished building 587 villas, and 350 of them were sold to customers in Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. The clients paid between 370,000 and 530,000 dollars for the villas and, according to one of the project’s consulting architects, they specifically asked for the design of a castle.
Grupo Sarot blames the bankruptcy on its clients, failing to raise $ 7.5 million in payments on account of the villas already sold. However, the group is optimistic because “the project is valued at $ 200 million” and they only need to “sell 100 villas to pay the debt”. “I think we can overcome this crisis in four or five months and partially inaugurate the project in 2019,” said Sarot president Mehmet Emin Yerdelen.