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Burj al Babas, a Turkish town replete with deserted villas

Burj al Babas, a Turkish town replete with deserted villas

Abandoned by developers due to financial constraints, the Turkish town of Burj al Babas is now full of deserted villas.

Burj al Babas, a Turkish town replete with deserted villas


The American far west isn't the only place where you can find ghost towns. In north-eastern Turkey, between Istanbul and Ankara, Burj al Babas is a town with a medieval feel. An array of stunning and identical villas, resembling French chateaus, were constructed here in just enough time before things started to go wrong. The plans failed with an estimated loss of 200 million dollars for the developer.

A Turkish ghost town

The fall in oil prices occurred at around the same time, in 2018. The grandiose idea by Sarot Property Group to entice rich investors from the Gulf with 700 château-style villas, at between 400 000 $ and 500 000 $ each, will never see the light of day. This, despite guarantees to build a shopping centre, Turkish baths, cinemas and leisure facilities.

Burj al Babas palace
At the heart of it all, this palace was built in the European style to become a luxury hotel. © DR
Burj al Babas villa
This stunning manor has got it all, except some residents. © DR

Delusions of grandeur in a real-estate bubble

These delusions of grandeur have now left their mark on the landscape, but some still like to explore the abandoned Gothic or Renaissance-style buildings in Burj al Babas. The website is still up and running though, as if this real-estate bubble had never even burst. You can even book an appointment for a visit.

Burj al Babas living room
The villa reception rooms, decorated by famed designers, were ready to welcome clients. © DR

The dreams of architects and developers

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