February 1, 2019 / 3:03 PM / 22 days ago

Turkey's mini-castle resort win reprieve after bankruptcy

ISTANBUL, Feb 1 (Reuters) - A half-built Turkish residential development of hundreds of mini-castles won a reprieve from bankruptcy on Friday when creditors voted to allow a construction company to complete work on the project.

The Burj al Babas project, set among hills about 200 km (120 miles) east of Istanbul, was conceived as a luxury housing development with row upon row of identical cream-coloured homes, shaped like chateaus with grey turrets and 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 weak currency and rising interest rates.

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

On Friday a majority of creditors of the firm, Burj al Babas, 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.

Nearly half of the properties, which sell for between $300,000 and $550,000 each according to the company’s website, were bought by Kuwaitis.

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

“We do not support the decision that has been taken now,” Fawaz al-Mutairi said following the two-hour meeting. “The company ... has reneged on many clauses, so we do not have trust in them now.” (Editing by Dominic Evans; editing by John Stonestreet)

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