Long the crossroads between the Eastern and Western civilizations, Turkey has, in recent years, become an artful balance of the two. Remnants of the Ottoman past mix fluidly with modern designs to form a body of architecture unrivaled in its contrasts. Perhaps nothing is more indicative of the collision of Turkey's past and present than this 19th-century Baroque-style mansion on the banks of the Bosporus Strait (above). Built for Marshal Zeki Pasha, commandant of the military academy under the last absolute emperor of the Ottoman Empire, the 23-bedroom, eight-bathroom castle reveals the opulence afforded Ottoman elites. But, in a move symbolic of modern Turkey's democratic idealism, the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge runs some 200 feet overhead as it spans the gap between Europe and Asia, ferrying some 150,000 vehicles per day. The overhead highway has done little to dent the value of this 32,000-square-foot, ivy-covered extravaganza: though the agents are tight-lipped on an exact price, Sotheby's none-too-secretive, "Price Upon Request" listing scheme has it coming in somewhere north of $100M. A marketing ploy by a shameless listing agent? Probably, considering the adjacent, intercontinental bridge cost $160M to build. Stick around after the jump for three more modern Turkish spots with a bit of old and new.
? Bodrum, a seaside town on the Aegean sea, was once the site of one the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Tomb of Mausolus, from which we derive the modern term "mausoleum." Despite the morbid backstory, Bodrum is now a bustling center of tourism and yachting with decidedly modern twists. Take this hillside villa, whose modern angular design seems to mimic the intersection of sky and water at this age-old resort. Comprised of six bedrooms and six baths, the villa stretches over 13,000 square feet. Unfortunately, this place is also "price upon request."
? Next, it's back to Istanbul and the grounds of Kemer Country Club to visit a modern sporting mansion tucked away in one of the many gated enclaves. Sporting? Why yes, there's a basketball court seemingly integrated into the living space. But if shooting hoops isn't your thing, there's plenty of space to spread out in almost 20,000 square feet. But, surprise, surprise, the price is still not on the table.
? Ah, and finally a bit of pricing information, and boy, is it high: $7M. The buys one stunning staircase, wide expanses of stone, and sporting facilities on the premises. Sounds cushy, but if 11,000 square feet costs $7M in Istanbul, you can imagine how pricey the other options on this list must be. The empire might've crumbled, but there're still some princely sums floating around.
· Zeki Pasha Waterside Mansion [Sotheby's]
· Hebil 157 [Sotheby's]
· Kemer Country [Sotheby's]
· Hasbahce Home [Sotheby's]