President Erdoğan to establish ‘Supreme Consultation Board’ of elders
Erdinç Çelikkan - ANKARA
AFP photoA “wise persons’ committee of elders” will be established at Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s presidential palace in Ankara, composed of figures aged over 75 years who had in the past held senior posts at public institutions.
Speaking in a recent interview, Erdoğan said the structure of the controversial new palace is “different” from the old Çankaya Presidential Mansion, necessitating a “Supreme Consultation Board” to improve advice.
Experts with years of experience in difference fields will be members of the board, including academics, economists, historians, and politicians.
A decree is currently being prepared for the founding of the board, according to sources, who also said similar structures in other countries are being examined for the initiative.
Meanwhile, the presidency is also planning to open a convention center at the palace by 2015, which will include meeting, dining and opera halls, along with Turkey’s biggest library that will be open to the public. With the completion of the convention center, all buildings in the gargantuan palace will have been finalized.
After the presidential palace in Ankara’s Beştepe neighborhood, the nearby Marmara Mansion, which is currently being used by the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), will be converted into guesthouse for foreign visitors of the president.
Erdoğan moved into the huge and controversial new presidential palace in 2014.
The cost of the palace, which amounted to at least 1.37 billion Turkish Liras ($615 million), as well as the legality of building it inside the supposedly officially protected Atatürk Forest Farm were both criticized by the opposition.
Erdoğan refers to the complex, where he has hosted several cabinet meetings, as the “Presidential Külliye,” in reference to the Ottoman tradition of having a mosque surrounded by various public facilities.