Turkey’s statesmen switching residences

Turkey’s statesmen switching residences

Turkey’s statesmen switching residences

A file photo taken on Oct 29 shows the new Ak Saray presidential palace on the outskirts of Ankara. AFP Photo

Turkish statesmen are switching their residences in a chain reaction after Recep Tayyip Erdoğan began using an opulent palace in Ankara that has attracted controversy.

Erdoğan will use the new residential buildings located inside the Atatürk Forest Farm (AOÇ) in Ankara, bringing an end to a Turkish state tradition after 91 years, which had seen every Turkish president stay in the Çankaya Presidential Mansion.

Erdoğan has temporarily moved to the official Foreign Ministry residence until the construction of the new Presidential Palace, known as the White Palace (AK Saray), is complete.

As Erdoğan decided not to stay in the Çankaya Presidential Mansion after being elected the country’s 12th president Aug. 10, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu will use the mansion as his working office.

Interior minister moved to governor’s house

Then-Foreign Minister Davutoğlu had to rent a place, which led to a controversial monthly rent of nearly 40,000 Turkish Liras, when former President Abdullah Gül did not want to move to the Çankaya Presidential Mansion and preferred to continue using the official Foreign Ministry residence.

Davutoğlu’s family has left the rental residence on Kırlangıç Road in Çankaya district and moved to the official residence of the prime ministry, which was in use just to host foreign leaders during the term of Erdoğan’s prime ministry.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Efkan Ala has moved into the Ankara governor’s house.

If the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) succeeds in getting enough deputes in Parliament in the 2015 election to change the Constitution and impose a presidential system, then the Ak Saray could become a venue not only for the president but also for vice presidents and the rest of the top bureaucracy of the state.