“For the upper-crust Turkish crowd at the club, Bianca, the difference was merely academic. Sitting inside an on-site jewelry boutique doubling as an office, the club’s owner, Emre Ergani, stroked his handlebar moustache and boldly declared that the Champagne-drenched, celebrity-draped French Riviera hotspot was a kindred spirit of Turkbuku, a fishing town whose traditional draws have included red mullet and sea bream.
‘St.-Tropez is a place for people of A-plus quality, and so is Turkbuku,’ he said, explaining that the town had lately rocketed from picturesque beachfront backwater to second-home haven and party playground for Turkish celebrities. As a glass case holding $7,000 Champagne flutes sparkled behind him, he added that international stars were now getting wind of Turkbuku, too.
‘People I know from St.-Tropez are buying houses here,’ Mr. Ergani said. ‘Turkbuku is taking over St.-Tropez.’
On the face of it, this seems an outrageous claim for this hamlet hidden on the Aegean, the body of water that Homer called ‘the wine-dark sea.’ Even the most desperate addicts of checkout-aisle literature and live red-carpet reports probably wouldn’t recognize the name, which sounds halfway to Timbuktu and might reasonably conjure images of a Turkish answer to Mötley Crüe.”