Mehmet Ali Gökçeoğlu, a successful businessman and topographical engineer from Turkey, has built the world’s most amazing fence for his luxurious villa in Çeşme, Izmir. Eight years ago he replaced the metal fence at the front of his property with a 50-meter-long aquarium filled with hundreds of fish and octopuses. I know, you have to see it to believe it. Luckily we have the photos and videos to prove it.
Located just a few feet away from the shores of the Aegean Sea, Mehmet Ali Gökçeoğlu’s property has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Çeşme, attracting up to a thousand visitors a day, according to its owner. The villa itself is pretty impressive, but it’s not what draws so many people to this place. They come to see the aqua-fence. Eight years ago, the Turkish businessman had the eccentric idea to replace the front fence of his home with a giant aquarium full of various marine creatures from the Aegean Sea. Building the transparent structure was actually the easy part of the project. The hard part was linking the aqua-fence to the Aegean through a 400-meter-long buried pipeline, so the water could be changed continuously to keep the aquarium looking clean and its inhabitants happy. Gökçeoğlu hired a team of private divers to perform the task, and ended up paying approximately 40,000 Turkish Lira ($21,000) to fulfill his dream. The businessman says just seeing people line up outside his house staring at his creation makes it all worth it.
Sea bream, sea bass, mullets, eels and octopuses are just some of the marine species found in Mehmet Ali Gökçeoğlu’s aqua-fence. According to several reports, there are now almost 1,000 fish living in this man-made wonder. Even though it’s been eight years since it was first unveiled, the unique aquarium still draws crowds of tourists every summer. To make sure no one comes close enough to damage his fragile fence or steal some fish, the owner set up a surveillance network of 17 cameras with facial recognition system. Visitors can look, take photos and record videos, but getting too close will probably set off some kind of alarm.
So if you’re ever in Çeşme, be sure to stop by Mehmet’s place and check out his aqua-fence. I’m pretty sure it’s the only one of its kind in the whole world.
Photos: Mehmet Ali Gökçeoğlu/Facebook