Builder not sure how many rooms Turkey's new presidential palace has

Builder not sure how many rooms Turkey's new presidential palace has

Erdinç Çelikkan ANKARA
Builder not sure how many rooms Turkeys new presidential palace has

Turkey's new presidential palace is also known as Ak Saray (The White Palace)

Erman Ilıcak, the chairman of the holding company responsible for the construction of Turkey's new presidential palace in Ankara, said the building that has triggered much debate will be a "legacy for future generations."

“I am not sure if this palace is larger than the Kremlin,” Ilıcak, chairman of Rönesans Holding told Hürriyet. “But we have opened malls in Russia that were larger than this building. I do not know why [some people] considered it too large for Turkey.”

The new $615 million palace stirred reactions from architects and opposition parties for its cost and size, as well as its legality.

Ilıcak said he is not authorized to announce an exact total cost of the palace, adding that the construction work was scheduled to be finished in full next year.

He also denied that the gargantuan building has 1,000 rooms, while adding that he did not know the exact number.

"This palace is a heritage for our children like Anıtkabir, like the Parliament," Ilıcak added, referring to the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, modern Turkey's founder.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hosted Russian President Vladimir Putin at the palace yesterday, following a visit from Pope Francis last week.

Rönesans Holding, known to have strong ties with Russia, inked a $400 million deal with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Dec. 1 to jointly invest in projects across Russia.