Care for a British noble title before your name? Turks do, and a company arranging a title for a land purchase plan says there are already some 40,000 Turkish "ladies" and "lords."
With the acquisition of just 1 square meter of land in Scotland's Glencoe, customers can have the stately title and a chance to meet other lords and ladies at an annual two-day event in May.
The scheme, that aims to promote the Scottish highlands and help their preservation, was brought to Turkey by a company founded by Fırat Kurtoğlu, who traveled to Scotland about a decade ago while studying in the United Kingdom.
Kurtoğlu, who bought himself and his girlfriend plots to acquire the lord and lady titles, decided to make more Turks familiar with the issue and now runs a company arranging the land purchases. Since the company's launch six years ago, some 40,000 people were granted the coveted titles. So, Turkey now has 24,000 "ladies" and 16,000 "lords," and Kurtoğlu says the land purchases are mostly as gifts to their spouses by men. Among Kurtoğlu's customers are celebrities including actress Fahriye Evcen, actor Burak Özçivit, singers Kenan Doğulu and Sibel Can and talk-show host Beyazıt Öztürk.
"You only need to purchase a plot of 1 square meter. The money is used to preserve the nature in Scotland, and the plots you buy are in one of the most beautiful places in Europe, with lush landscape. They managed to convert a marshland into a green space with money collected from plot sales," Kurtoğlu told Anadolu Agency (AA). Every year, from May 12 and May 14, the lords and ladies convene in Scotland, visiting the plots they bought for an annual meeting, and the majority of buyers travel there every year, Kurtoğlu says.
Every country has a quota of buyers and for Turkey, only 500 lucky people can buy per month. Kurtoğlu says there has been great interest, and they sell out by the second week of every month. You might think it takes a lot to be granted the title, but you only need to pay TL 743 and occasionally, the Turkish company offers half-price discounts. The low price also means you can't do much with the bought land. You are not allowed to build anything on the plots, no matter how many you buy. Still, you have a higher chance to acquire land in another location in Scotland as the title deed for your 1 square meter of land helps with the visa process, Kurtoğlu says.