The villas were supposed to be new homes for the rich from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, but the project turned bankrupt.Photo by Adem Atlan, AFP
In 2014, the Burj Al Babas settlement, a “luxury” town with villas for wealthy foreigners, began to be built in Turkey. At the foot of the mountains of the province of Bolu, hundreds of design houses built on Disney castles were built, but then the project ran into financial difficulties. In November 2018, the construction company went bankrupt , and 587 houses remained abandoned.
In January 2018, AFP photographer Adem Atlan (Adem Altan) showed what a ghost town looks like with miniature castle villas.
The total cost of the project was more than 200 million dollars, and each house would cost customers between 400 and 500 thousand dollars. For several years, the company Sarot Group managed to sell several hundred homes to customers from Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. But soon they abandoned the acquired property. According to the architect of the complex, this was due to lower oil prices.
Another reason is the general decline in the level of the Turkish economy. By October 2018, inflation reached 25%, the highest level in 15 years. The builders of Burj Al Babas accumulated debts of $ 27 million, and they were declared bankrupt. The houses remained in the north-west of Turkey: without finishing, windows and infrastructure around the houses.
The Sarot Group is still hoping for a revival of the project. The company wants to appeal the status of a bankrupt and resume construction in 2019. “We need to sell 100 villas to pay off debts. I think that we can overcome the crisis in 4-5 months, ”said a company representative.