World’s ‘poorest’ ex-Uruguayan president humbly hosted in Turkey

World’s ‘poorest’ ex-Uruguayan president humbly hosted in Turkey

World’s ‘poorest’ ex-Uruguayan president humbly hosted in Turkey

DHA photo

Former president of Uruguay Jose Mujica, who is known for his humble character, was hosted modestly, in accordance with his wishes, with a ’73 VW as his official car and a three-star hotel in Istanbul.

Known as the poorest president of the world, Mujica and his wife arrived in Turkey on Oct. 29 with a Turkish Airlines flight from Paris for a series of panels and conferences for the promotion of his latest book. 

He is also expected to meet the Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.

The Bakırköy municipality has arranged for Mujica a 73’ Volkswagen as an official car with Veli Ağbaba, deputy head of Republican People’s Party (CHP), serving as his driver.

Ağbaba told daily Hürriyet that the party consulted Mujica about hosting him at a three-star hotel in Istanbul’s Taksim Square.

Mujica will stay in Turkey for about 10 days and also visit Eskişehir and İzmir provinces during his visit, Ağbaba added.

The Guardian defines Mujica as a leader “who has forsworn a state palace in favor of a farmhouse, donates the vast bulk of his salary to social projects, flies economy class and drives an old Volkswagen Beetle.”

He has been defined as a “palace-less” president, as he has donated around 90 percent of his monthly salary, approximately $12,000, to his people.

This meant his salary was roughly in line with the average Uruguayan income of $775 a month.

Mujica has avoided a luxurious life style, having refused to reside in the luxurious presidential residents.

Instead, he lives in a farmhouse off a dirt road where he and his wife work the land themselves.

The house and family are protected by two police officers and Manuela, a dog with three legs.

“If all I’m doing is working to buy things to get more; if the society of consumption is the energy of everything, where does this go?” he asked.

“We need to start to fight for another kind of culture,” Seneca said. “A poor person is not someone who doesn’t have very much, but the person who really is poor is the person that continues to need more and more and more and desires more and more,’” Mujica said while speaking at a Rio+20 United Nations Conference on sustainable development.