Erdoğan’s palace won’t bring prestige to Turkey: CHP

Erdoğan’s palace won’t bring prestige to Turkey: CHP

Erdoğan’s palace won’t bring prestige to Turkey: CHP

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Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), has harshly criticized the erecting of the “overpriced” presidential palace for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, rejecting the president’s argument that such a massive building would bring "prestige" to Turkey.

Kılıçdaroğlu also repeated his claim that the palace is "corrupt and illegal," calling on Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu to launch a probe to reveal the corruption.

“[Erdoğan] claimed it would bring prestige to Turkey. No, such grandiose palaces do not bring prestige to any society. You can only build prestige with science, knowledge, moral values and justice. If you have these things, you have prestige, otherwise you do not,” he said in his address to Parliament during budget talks on Dec. 10.

Kılıçdaroğlu’s hour-long address included fierce criticisms of the government’s economic policies, with specific questions directed toward Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. The first issue he highlighted was the government’s efforts to hide the financial accounts of a number of ministers from the Court of Accounts.

“The Court of Accounts cannot perform its duty because some ministries do not submit their accounts. I ask the prime minister: On what grounds are they permitted to not submit their accounts? I also ask the parliamentary speaker: Why do you not intervene?” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

The government is continuing to discuss necessary "structural reforms" despite being in power for the last 12 years, he added.

“Who has been ruling this country for 12 years? What is the economic policy? What does your budget suggest? You have been repeating the same story that Turkey is growing. The annual average growth rate between 1960 and 2003 was 5.1 percent despite coups, oil crises and Turkey’s intervention into Cyprus. The same rate between 2003 and now, under your rule, is 4.7 percent,” the CHP leader stated.

One of the most important parameters of a country’s development is its quality of education, but the current government has amended the education system 13 times in 11 years, Kılıçdaroğlu added. “Tell me, which country apart from Turkey has used its own children as experimental subjects?” he said. 

The unemployment rate is currently higher than 10 percent, which causes social problems such as a rise in the divorce rate and the use of drugs, he claimed.

Turkey has surpassed Norway to become the country with the most expensive gas at $2.1 per liter, Kılıçdaroğlu also said. “I want to ask the prime minister: On what grounds is gas so expensive in Turkey? Are we richer than Norway?” he asked.

'Palace is illegal, corrupt'

In line with the ongoing discussion in Turkey about the presidential palace, Kılıçdaroğlu again introduced the topic into Parliament’s agenda and recalled that the complex was originally designed for use by the Prime Ministry, not the presidency.

“On what grounds have you handed this building to the presidency, even though a protocol was signed that it would be for the Prime Ministry?” the CHP head said.

The Court of Accounts has proven that the presidential palace is overpriced, he said, calling on Davutoğlu “to investigate it and do what is necessary.”

“If you want to prove yourself as a prime minister, you have to do what is necessary. The position you occupy necessitates that you do this,” Kılıçdaroğlu added.