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Turkey’s fairytale castles win reprieve after bankruptcy

The Burj el Babas project, about 200 km east of Istanbul, was intended to be a luxury housing development boasting rows upon rows of cream-colored castles with grey turrets, all built around a shopping mall and hotel.

But delays in obtaining construction permits pushed up building costs, as the falling lira drove up prices of building materials. The company – like other construction firms in Turkey- felt the pain of a falling currency and rising interest rates.

Work at the resort was halted last year before all 732 castles were completed, and the company was declared bankrupt.

On Friday a majority of creditors of the firm, Sarot Turizm, voted for it to continue building at the complex in the town of Mudurnu, using company capital and assets, company lawyer Ozgur Yanar told Reuters.

Not all the would-be castle owners were satisfied, however.

A Kuwaiti lawyer representing purchasers of more than 70 castles said the company had failed to keep its promises to the buyers, and they were not convinced it would complete the construction.

“The company has fallen behind on a lot of its commitments, and has not granted the rights given to the Kuwaiti citizens and the owners in the Burj al-Babas project,” Fawaz al-Mutairi said following the two-hour meeting.

“We do not support the decision that has been taken now, that the company running the Burj al-Babas project continue the project, as it has fallen back on many clauses, so we do not have trust in them now,” Mutairi said.

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