Inside Salt Bae’s $64 million palace

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Nusret Gokce started life in a family so poor he had to drop out of school aged 10.

But now, the 39-year-old internet sensation — known as Salt Bae — counts a $A64 million palace among his property portfolio.

Macka Palace in the Sisli district of Istanbul boasts a rooftop pool, gym and a spa – and best of all is you can stay there too, The Sun reports.

He is rumoured to have splashed $A64 million on the luxury Park Hyatt hotel in 2019, and moved into his own apartment within the palace that year too.

The flat was previously owned by 20th-century playwright Abdlhak Hamid Tarhan, popularly known in Turkey as the Grand Poet.

At the time, the Instagram star said he wanted to spend more time in the Turkish city near to his mum after years of running restaurants around the world.

Although the star keeps quite about his own abode, the five-star property boasts total of 90 generously sized deluxe rooms and suites – with prices starting at around $A630 per night.

According to its website, the Park Hyatt offers guests “unexpected pleasures” and claims to have “the finest food and beverage facilities” — including all-day dining at Salt Bae’s exclusive restaurant.

When Mr Gokce moved into the plush pad he claimed he had fulfilled a “dream”. He reportedly went about remodelling the grand hotel restaurant to his own liking.

He wrote on Instagram: “I had one dream which was to have my own restaurant at my own hotel thank god one of my biggest dream coming true.

“See you at Nusret Macka Palace.”

Outside his homeland, Mr Gokce is also thought to have built up his property portfolio with homes in the US, where he is often pictured by a private pool in Beverly Hills, as well as riding horses on what looks like a ranch.

And he reportedly has an enviable supercar collection including three Rolls-Royces and a Lamborghini Huracan.

It is a far cry from his childhood — which was reportedly so poor he had to drop out of school aged 12.

Mr Gokce’s rags-to-riches story began in a poverty-stricken suburb east of Instanbul, Turkey.

He was one of five children whose miner father spent months away working.

Speaking to The Times in 2019, Mr Gokce said he often went to school wearing shoes and shirts that didn’t fit as his parents could afford anything else.

He claims his family took him out of school so he could help earn money and at 13 he was taken on as a butcher’s apprentice.

He recalled: “I woke up at six o’clock, two hours on the train commute and 30 minutes after the train in the bus.

“Then all day long, standing and working. No day off and no vacation.”

He also worked in steakhouses, washing dishes to work his way up from the bottom.

He told NBC in 2017: “Since I was 14, I worked more than 13 hours a day as a kitchen runner for a butcher.

“I was always wishing and wishing to open up a restaurant.”

Later he convinced a bank to lend him $A4400 so he could travel to Argentina to learn about the meat trade.

After years went by – during which he claims he “worked for free” to gain experience – he returned to his home city of Istanbul.

And at the age of 27, he opened his first Nusr-Et steakhouse in 2010 with just eight tables and ten employees.

Turkish tycoon Ferit Sahenk was so impressed he offered to invest, and helped Nusr-et launch outposts in Ankara and Dubai.

But his career did not really take off until a hit viral video of his now-famous “sprinkle” in January 2017.

A 36-second Instagram video called Ottoman Steak showed Mr Gokce theatrically slicing steak at a table.

Then holding his hand in a “cobra” pose, he lets salt flow down his forearm to season the meat.

Bruno Mars tweeted the video, which instantly went viral and earned Mr Gokce the title of “sexiest butcher on Instagram”.

The gimmick also earned him the nickname Salt Bae — and led to millions more followers on Instagram.

This story originally appeared on The Sun and is republished here with permission

Originally published as Inside Salt Bae’s $64 million palace

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