$200 Million Ghost Town of Castles in Turkey: What Lurks Within the Mysterious Abandoned Land?

Turkey’s $200 Million Ghost Town of Castles

The construction of 732 luxury villas began in the mid-2000s in the picturesque town of Mudurnu in the northwest of Turkey. The project was meant to create a breathtaking Tuscan-style city that would become a popular tourist destination. The villas, complete with their own individual castles, were intended to be the epitome of luxury living. However, the developer, Sedat Zilli, the chairman of Zilli Holdings, was declared bankrupt in 2012, leaving behind a $200 million ghost town of castles.

Despite the beautiful design and grandeur of the villas, the project proved to be too ambitious and impractical. The villas’ asking price started at $1 million, which was far beyond the budget of many potential buyers. The developer’s plan was to sell them to wealthy Arab investors, but his ambition outstripped reality. Consequently, the project faced financial difficulties, and the sales were far less than expected.

Today, the castles are eerie echoes of the ambitious project—the windows are boarded up, the grass is unkempt, and the roads are deserted. The ghost town that was once planned as a sign of luxury is now abandoned. The crumbling buildings stand unoccupied, gradually deteriorating as time passes. The abandoned town is now a reminder of a flawed development idea.


Despite this, the town has become a hotspot for photographers, explorers, and urban researchers who see it as a great opportunity to capture the abandoned buildings’ beauty. The town induces a sense of curiosity and fascinates everyone who visits it. There are rumors that the Turkish government is planning to turn the ghost town into a tourist attraction.

It is not uncommon for irresponsible development decisions to end up abandoned. However, the Mudurnu case is unique due to its grandeur and the number of castles involved, and the amounts of money involved. Mudurnu could revert to its ruin and become a forgotten town, or it could become an essential cultural and economic asset.

The abandoned town is a reminder of a harsh reality that the beauty of a project is not a guarantee of its success. The empty villas serve as a testament to the consequences of failing businesses. The town is a reminder of the real consequences of the decisions we make and the actions we take.

The Surprising Features of the Forgotten Castles and their Potential

The Forgotten Turkey’s $200 Million Ghost Town of Castles, also known as Burj Al Babas, has several surprising features that could potentially be repurposed or utilized in new ways. Here are some of the features and their potential uses:

  1. The Chateaux-style villas – The partially-built villas are designed in the style of French chateaux and are identical in design. They could potentially be repurposed as a luxury hotel or resort, offering visitors a unique and opulent experience in a surreal and eerie setting.
  2. The swimming pools – Each villa was meant to have its own swimming pool, which could be refurbished and turned into a public pool or aquatic center for visitors or locals.
  3. The landscaped gardens – The gardens surrounding the villas were meant to be landscaped and well-maintained. They could potentially be repurposed as a public park or botanical garden, offering visitors a serene and peaceful space to relax and enjoy nature.
  4. The location – The Burj Al Babas project is located near the town of Mudurnu in the northwestern province of Bolu, which is known for its natural beauty and historical significance. The location could potentially be utilized for eco-tourism or adventure tourism, offering visitors activities like hiking, camping, or zip-lining.
  5. The eerie and surreal atmosphere – The deserted construction site has a haunting and surreal atmosphere, which could be utilized for film and television production or as a backdrop for photo shoots.

The potential uses for the Burj Al Babas project are varied and depend on the willingness of investors and developers to take on the project. However, the abandoned site has unique and surprising features that could be repurposed in creative and innovative

How You Can Explore This Mysterious Place on Your Own

Exploring Turkey’s Burj Al Babas, the $200 million ghost town of castles, can be a fascinating and unique experience for those who are interested in abandoned places and architecture. Here are some tips for exploring the site on your own:

  • Plan your trip: The Burj Al Babas development is located in the Bolu province of Turkey, about 3 hours’ drive from Istanbul. Make sure to plan your trip ahead of time and arrange for transportation to the site.
  • Be respectful: Although the site is abandoned, it is still private property. Be respectful of the site and do not damage or remove anything.
  • Wear appropriate clothing: The site is located on a hillside and can be quite steep and rocky. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing suitable for hiking.
  • Bring a camera: The site is a photographer’s dream, with its grandiose castle-like villas and picturesque surroundings.
  • Be cautious: The site has been abandoned for some time and may have hazards such as loose debris, broken glass, and unstable structures.
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