I think we are all curious to know which is the most expensive house in any country, sadly most of us couldn’t afford those prices but its nice to dream and see how the other half live. That does remind me, where did I put that lottery ticket? If only! As I live in Turkey it’s a question I am asked often, where is the most expensive house in Turkey? In reality when I was first asked I truly didn’t know and obviously looked it up to find out. There was no surprise to be honest I thought to myself it has got to be in Istanbul hasn’t it, along the banks of the Bosphorus – yes I was right in one of the most beautiful mansions located there. The next question is does a Turkish national own this fabulous house – sadly not.
The fact is Abdulhadi Mana Al-Hajri owns this historical mansion and he is a Qatari business man. The mansion is called ‘Erbilginler Yalısı’ roughly translated means “Days Mansion” but it could also be the name of the previous owner. The price Abdulhadi Mana Al-Hajri paid for this impressive property was 100 million euros. As you can imagine there was huge media interest and it then transpired that the true owner of the property was not Abdulhadi Mana Al-Hajri he is the owner of the real estate company that the house was handed over too. The interest grew amid reports that the company owned the house not Abdulhadi Mana Al-Hajri he was apparently a smoke screen and there was a secret buyer who wished to remain anonymous.
Eventually the cover was blown and the true owner is no other than Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad who is the current Amir of Qatar. He became the 8th Amir of Qatar on 25th June 2013 after the abdication of his father and he is his fathers 4th son. Where is the connection between Abdulhadi Mana Al-Hajri and the Amir? The Amir is the son in law of Abdulhadi Mana Al-Hajri. The story goes the Amir bought the property after a sightseeing visit to Istanbul where his wife “fell in love” with the Mansion so he bought it for her. For obvious reasons the Amir preferred the sale went through without anyone knowing it was him that wanted to buy the Mansion and that is why his wife Sheikha Anouds father Abdulhadi Mana Al-Hajri bought it via his real estate company. The sale took just 13 days to complete after the Amirs wife first set eyes upon it.
The ‘Erbilginler Yalısı’ Mansion was listed as the world’s 4th most expensive house residence in 2014 according to Forbes under the heading of “The Most Expensive Billionaire Homes in the World” and it sits very handsomely on the banks of the Bosphorus Strait in the district of Yeniköy in Istanbul. This is a big house with 64 rooms and it covers 5,800 sqm of land.
In 1911 the Mansion was bought by Şehzade Burhanettin who was the son of Sultan Abdülhamid II and the Mansion was originally known as ‘Şehzade Burhanettin Efendi Yalısı’. In 1985 it was sold to the Erbilginler family, who renovated the property and renamed it ‘Erbilginler Yalısı’ under their own name. The history behind this amazing building will be fascinating and if only walls could talk, I’m sure there would be a great story to tell.
So, we may not all be able to pay 100 million euros for a mansion on the wonderful Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul but you can still buy fantastic property for sale there with views over the Bosphorus that wont break the bank, but are not cheap either. It is a prestigious area to live in and one you must have the income to afford to buy and live there.
Coincidentally today it’s reported in the news that many of the waterside mansions along the Bosphorus Strait are being snapped up by foreign investors. These properties have had a high profile recently via Turkey’s soap operas and films and due to lots of interest, owners of these beautiful period properties have decided to cash in and sell their luxury homes with magnificent views. Price tags are in the region of 87 million euros for one of the premium properties however, if a foreigner buys they also have the opportunity to become a Turkish national if they meet the current criteria.
There are around 600 mansions along this waterfront and there are around 60 for sale with expected buyers to be from the Middle East especially Qatar.