Turkey 'is governed from this palace'
Peesident Erdoğan and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government have been slammed for spending nearly 2 billion Turkish Liras on the complex.Turkey is being governed from the massive recently built presidential palace, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, in an apparent bid to assert his authority over the prime ministry.
“This palace answers the questions about where the Republic of Turkey is being governed from. This is not Tayyip Erdoğan’s palace, this is the palace of the people,” Erdoğan said, describing the controversial new 1,000-room complex as a symbol of efforts to make Turkey “a great country.”
He was speaking on the occasion of the Presidential Culture and Arts Awards, handed out on Dec. 3.
The event was the first public ceremony at the Presidential Palace after recent welcoming ceremonies held for Pope Francis and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Erdoğan and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government have been slammed for spending nearly 2 billion Turkish Liras on the complex, but the president remains unrepentant.
“Here we are now under the roof of the Beştepe Presidential Palace. You know what they have said about it and will continue to say. Let them speak. I don’t care at all,” he vowed.
“We are exerting efforts to become a great country. We have the Dolmabahçe Palace and the Topkapı Palace in Istanbul and we are proud of them. Do you have any heritage to leave to your descendants? Look at this palace and be proud of it. This is a palace made only with the resources of the Turkish people,” Erdoğan said.
“Here we can come together in such a hall, but in the past we had no such places to come together. We have now started to host foreign leaders with pride,” he said.
Turkey’s traditional presidential palace, known as Çankaya, had served all 11 previous presidents of Turkey, including Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, since the early 1920s. Erdoğan’s decision not to use the Çankaya Palace is seen as being in line with his policy of building what he calls the “new Turkey.”