Cost of Erdoğan’s new presidential palace at $615 million, minister says
The cost of Turkeyâs controversial new presidential palace, which has been heavily criticized by the opposition for overspending, currently stands at 1.37 billion Turkish Liras ($615 million), surpassing earlier estimates, according to fresh data provided by Finance Minister Mehmet ÅimÅek.
Some $432.7 million has so far been paid for the construction of the Ak Saray, or âWhite Palaceâ in English, while $135 million has been allocated for spending on the palace in 2015, ÅimÅek told Parliamentâs Planning and Budget Commission on Nov. 4.
After 12 years as prime minister, President Recep Tayyip ErdoÄan took over as president on Aug. 28, after being elected as Turkeyâs first president to be elected via popular vote on Aug. 10. Shortly after being elected, he chose to move from the more modest Ãankaya Palace in the capital Ankara to the massive new complex in the city, which had initially been built for the use of the Prime Ministry.
ErdoÄan hosted a state reception on Aug. 30, marking Victory Day on the 92nd anniversary of the Turkish victory over Greek forces in the War of Independence, during which he opened the facility to the press.
The complex lies on a 150,000-square-meter area inside the historic AtatÃ¼rk Forest Farm (AOÃ), and hundreds of trees were cut down in one of the best preserved green spaces in the city for its construction. It is equipped with a number of high-technology systems aimed at precluding eavesdropping with bugs and wires, and has a total of 1,000 rooms, considerably larger than the White House, the Kremlin and Buckingham Palace.
In addition to the spending reserved for the new Ak Saray, yet more money will be spent on rejuvenating presidential facilities in two other cities next...