Thursday, 15 August 2013


When Mehmet Ali Gökçeoğlu bought his luxury oceanfront villa in Çeşme, Turkey, he wanted to see the ocean from every floor. But what’s a wealthy homeowner to do when his home doesn’t offer ocean views from the basement? Build a 164-foot aquarium fence around his property, full of fish, of course. Gökçeoğlu’s home faces the Aegean Sea and provides stellar views, but a large garden wall originally blocked the prospect from the lower level.

"I used to see the black walls of my garden looking toward the ocean," Gökçeoğlu told Yahoo! Homes. “I took down the walls to replace them with glass, and the aquarium idea occurred.”

The fish swimming in the transparent tank bring the view to life, as if the aquarium is the ocean and he's seeing directly into it, he said. In a way, he is. The aquarium fence required real seawater, he told Yahoo! Homes, so he laid down an electrical pump system 1,300 feet offshore to bring seawater in all day, every day. He had to hire a team of private divers for the task, according to a Turkish-language news article.

The water is circulated 35 times a day, which keeps the aquarium clean. Fulfilling this dream wasn’t easy on the pocketbook, though. Gökçeoğlu told Yahoo! Homes that it cost more than $132,000 to build the fence. Plus it costs over $3,000 each month to maintain. Even though it’s been years since the aquarium fence was first built, it continues to draw more and more attention and visitors over time.

“Visitors to Çeşme started taking a liking, and it became a symbol,” Gökçeoğlu said.

It has become a popular tourist attraction, drawing as many as 1,000 cars a day, including whole tour buses, he said. With such easy access to so many fish, some visitors wonder if he just heads out to his fence around dinnertime for something fresh.

“I get asked if I cook the fish for meals. We get a good laugh out of these types of questions."

"No, we don't eat them,” Gökçeoğlu said. “It's meant only to create a beautiful synergy between sea and nature.”