Landowners hoping to cash in on the opportunity are trying to sell their land at exorbitant prices with some listing up to $10,000 per parcel, according to a report
Speculations that Gates bought land in the region first emerged on social media and a few local news sites.
Okan Gaytancıoğlu, a lawmaker from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) for the northwestern province of Edirne, took the allegations to parliament.
Gaytancıoğlu asked in a motion if there is any cooperation between the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The ministry stated that a courtesy visit was made by the foundation officials in 2018, but no protocols or agreements have been signed.
The land registry records of the provinces of Edirne, Tekirdağ and Kırklareli in the Thrace region also do not have records of land being registered under the name “Gates.”
Realtors and experts warned the public not to buy into the speculations.
Speaking to Demirören News Agency, Namık Kemal Döleneken, an urban planner, said the rumors are stirred by those who already invested in the region to increase the value of their lands.
“There have been many investors in Thrace for many years, this is not a new thing. These include both locals and foreigners. But what is said about Bill Gates is only rumors,” Döleneker said.
“Those who have invested here before need such rumors to raise the value of their place and increase their prices, I think it is a rumor to reveal this,” he added.
Gates, known as one of the richest people in the world, has an estimated net worth of $129 billion.
In January, an U.S. magazine revealed that the Gates have amassed the largest portfolio of private farmland in the U.S., comprising an estimated 242,000 acres.