Turkey’s presidential palace part of Ankara’s new skyline

Turkey’s presidential palace part of Ankara’s new skyline

Turkey’s presidential palace part of Ankara’s new skyline

Atatürk's mausoleum (L) and Turkey's new presidential palace (R) are seen in this Anadolu Agency photo shot early April 25.

As lanterns fly in the skies of Ankara in the early hours of April 25 to mark the centennial anniversary of the World War I campaign in Gallipoli, Turkey’s national media discovered Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s mausoleum has new company in the capital’s skyline: The new presidential palace.

The mausoleum, known as Anıtkabir, has been the symbol of the Turkish capital since Atatürk founded the Republic in 1923. Journalists flocked to the landmark for the first-ever night that it remained open until morning in honor of the Turkish soldiers who fell in the 1915 battles in the Gallipoli peninsula.

A photo of Ankara's night skyline captured by Anadolu Agency correspondent Ender Onur shows Anıtkabir, the flying Gallipoli lanterns and the new presidential palace with its lights that were recently lit.

The construction of the new presidential palace, a massive complex with more than 1000 rooms, was ordered by then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who originally planned the complex as a new Prime Ministry, but moved in when he was elected president in August 2014.

Arguing that the size and cost of the new presidential palace were criticized only out of “jealousy,” Erdoğan had stressed in December 2014 that it is “the nation’s palace,” not his own.

The cost of Turkey’s controversial new presidential palace, which was at least 1.37 billion Turkish Liras ($615 million), and the legality to build it inside the Atatürk Forest Farm have been criticized by the opposition.