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Burj al-Babas is the name of a Turkish construction project launched in 2014 to design a whole village full of castles, but following regional unrest and financial problems, this ambitious project was abandoned.
Burj al-Babas : an unusual ghost village
Credit : Adem Altan

Located in Turkey in the village of Mudurnu nestled in the mountains of the Bolu region, “Burj al-Babas” has the particularity, as mentioned in our introduction, of being composed in an unusual way of castles.

This ambitious construction project was launched in 2014 by Sarot, which at the same time was also on other construction sites in this region located a little over 200 km from Ankara.

With the design of 731 castles whose architecture can be reminiscent of Chambord Castle in France, as well as the construction of a shopping centre, the “Burj al-Babas” project seemed at the time to have as its guiding principle the ambition to attract people, even foreign investors. According to some sources, the vast majority of these buyers are from the Gulf country.

In fact, the Turkish government of Erdogan, after a period of growth, had set itself the objective, particularly following a decline in the Turkish lira and diplomatic tensions with the United States, of making the construction sector “the nerve of war” of its policy. This is how colossal projects such as “Burj al-Babas” were born.

However the Mudurnu site will very quickly be completely abandoned like many others in the region. Indeed and despite the work provided by the Sarot company, it is unable to find buyers for their castles. Worse still, it also has to deal with abandoned sales of 351 homes priced between $400,000 and $500,000. The main reason would come from customers who, after acquiring their new place of residence, very quickly found themselves unable to ensure payment for it. Another possibility mentioned was the fall in oil prices, which could very well have hampered the finances of investors in the Gulf country.

Faced with this crisis situation, Sarot had no choice but to ask the government to be placed under bankruptcy. It was very quickly joined by other construction companies with the same problems as “Burj al-Babas”.

This is how this fairytale village was left and still is today abandoned and looks more like a horror movie setting to some people’s taste.

Credit featured image : Adem Altan


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John Sinclair

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