CHP vows to keep Qatari jet on agenda
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy leader Aykut Erdoğdu has vowed to publicize their criticism of the luxurious VIP jet, which the Turkish presidency has reportedly received from the Qatari emir, criticizing the presidency for accepting an expensive item in a time of fragile economic conditions.
“People are desperate in poverty, unable to give their children pocket money and they are allegedly granted a plane worth 550 million British pounds. It is illicit. We will never let this plane [issue] go. They will have to reveal the truth,” Erdoğdu said at a press conference on Sept. 18.
His comment came after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan confirmed Turkey’s presidential office has received a Boeing 747-8 from Qatari Emir Tamim Bin Hamad Bin al-Thani as a gift, attracting criticism from opposition parties, who are inquiring about the nature of this exchange.
“The plane they are referring to is now being painted,” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was quoted by daily Hürriyet as telling reporters flying with him from Azerbaijan to Turkey on Sept. 17.
Erdoğan said Turkey had interest in purchasing the jet when it was up for sale but instead, the Qatari emir donated it to the presidency free of charge.
The CHP deputy leader speculated that the presidency has purchased the aircraft, suggesting it was announced as a gift “because they are afraid of people’s rage.”
He said the jet had been up for sale since January adding “who would give a gift worth 550 million pounds?”
“Can the head of the Republic of Turkey receive a 550 million pound gift?” said Erdoğdu.
“You already have 13 planes and three helicopters. You are 18 people in the cabinet,” said the CHP deputy leader.
He defined the luxury aircraft as a “flying palace,” stating that in the current economic conditions in which the Turkish Lira has plunged against the United States dollar and triggered inflation, such spending “should be impossible.”
“While people have been struggling with unemployment, traders are going out of business every day and laborers have been detained, you cannot buy a 550 pound flying palace. It is ill-gotten,” said Erdoğdu.