By Cigdem Alyanak
ANKARA (AA) - At least 40,000 Turkish people hold titles of nobility in the U.K., having purchased at least one square meter (roughly 11 square feet) each of land each from western Scotland.
Turkey's "lords" and "ladies" bought their estates in Glencoe, with the proceeds going to an environmental project to fund the creation of multiple nature reserves in Scotland's and boost tourism in the country.
Firat Kurtoglu went to the U.K. 10 years ago as a student and heard of the project when he was on a trip to Scotland. He bought a square meter land for his girlfriend as a gift, along with the title of "lady". After buying the title for himself too, Kurtoglu decided to facilitate more sales to Turkish people, which cost 105 pounds ($129).
The project made 40,000 people in Turkey nobles, including 24,000 ladies and 16,000 lords, over the last 6 years.
Some Turkish celebrities also hold these titles including Fahriye Evcen, Burak Ozcivit, Neslihan Atagul, Kadir Dogulu, Hazal Kaya, Cagla Sikel, Deniz Seki, Kenan Dogulu, Beren Saat, Sibel Can, Beyazit Ozturk and Wilma Elles.
- Lords, ladies meet every year in May
Providing his services online, Kurtoglu said: "The money is being used to preserve the natural life of Scotland which is one of Europe's most beautiful locations."
Adding that it also aimed to spread Scotland's reputation as the home of gorgeous scenery, he said most of the title holders met every year on May 12-14 in Scotland.
Authorized institutions conduct the process, Kurtoglu said, adding that plots were for sale all around the world and that Turkey’s quota was 500 per month.
"From time to time we reduce the price to half with some special offers," he said.
The title is handed down from father to son in the U.K., though in Scotland it depended on holding land, Kurtoglu explained.
"The most frequently asked question to us is: ‘Can I build a house on the land?’, but this is not possible. The land is a protected area by the state and no matter how much land you buy, you cannot do anything." said Kurtoglu.
*Writing by Havva Kara Aydin