New parliament building needed in Turkish capital, says parliament speaker
Bülent Sarıoğlu – ANKARAParliament Speaker İsmail Kahraman has suggested that a new parliament building is needed in the Turkish capital Ankara, as the current 57-year-old building “fails to meet today’s needs.”
“Our veteran parliament should certainly convene in a nice building in line with our state and mission,” Kahraman wrote in an iftar invitation letter, inviting all ruling and opposition deputies to a fast-breaking iftar meal on June 14.
“As you all know, the project of our current main building was undertaken in 1937 and the construction was finished only in 1960 due to wars and financial difficulties. Our 57-year-old building cannot meet today’s needs,” he added.
Kahraman also noted in his letter that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister Binali Yıldrım, Chief of Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar would be participating in the iftar meal.
Although all lawmakers are invited to the June 14 iftar dinner, an additional one will be held “only for women MPs” on June 7.
The parliament building underwent renovation amounting to almost 20 million Turkish Liras, funded by a number of volunteer businesspeople, after it was bombarded by jets on the night of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
“[This renovation] made some parts of the building larger, more user-friendly, and more spacious. The Presidency Council was enlarged. It was remade in a way to represent our parliament as it deserves. The spaces used as storage and known as shelters were also reconstructed,” wrote Kahraman.
A prayer room (“mescit” in Turkish) with a capacity of 350 people, to be used only by women, will be opened at parliament in two weeks, he also said, adding that a recreational facility would come into use later in the year in the northwestern city of Yalova.