The news that A-list Hollywood couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie bought a multi-million dollar summer villa on Turkey's western coast has thrilled the region and local people, even as the purchase has reportedly pushed up property prices.
It was reported that the October purchase of the $2.6 million super luxury mansion was made through an Italian real estate company.
Local businessman Mehmet Ünal told Anadolu Agency this week that the star couple - often referred to as "Brangelina" - bought the four-story, 2,500 square meter mansion with a swimming pool in the Saklıkoy area of Urla after he organized a boat trip for the couple and their children last summer.
Speaking as he anchored his vessel off Saklıkoy, Unal said that he accompanied the couple as they looked around the seven-bedroom mansion, which has two living rooms, a private swimming pool and a gym.
"They had their children, cooks and staff with them. We took them around the Pınarlı, Yassı, Çiçek and Kaşık islands from the early until the afternoon. They even came to our restaurant with their yacht," he said.
"The couple loved Urla very much because we have the sea, artichokes, fish and everything here. Also, this place is just 20 kilometers from the airport. [Now that] they saw this, I think they will visit here very often," he said.
Mesut Güleroğlu, chairman of the İzmir Chamber of Real Estate Agencies, said that housing prices in Urla have begun to rise as soon as Pitt and Jolie were mentioned.
"Earlier, you could find a moderate house far from the coast for a price of TL 200,000 ($69,500). But after the news of the celebrities buying the house started to spread, the price of the cheapest house has jumped to TL 250,000," he said.