As 16.9% of Turkey’s population is below the poverty line, President Recep Tayyip Erdoǧan and the Turkish government are constructing a $615 million palace with one thousand rooms.
However, this has infuriated Turkey’s taxpayers. As President Erdoǧan hopes this ornamental castle will demonstrate the country’s prominence, the residents of Turkey are being forced to pay for it.
Even the simple electricity bill of the palace comes out to an astounding $313,000 per month. As approximately 2.9 million people are unemployed in Turkey, the taxpayers will suffer the debts of this colossal castle.
Ak Saray, or the White Palace, is larger than the Buckingham Palace, and more than three times the size of the Palace of Versailles.
Originally, the palace was going to house the prime minister of Turkey. However, when President Erdoǧan was elected into office as President of Turkey from the former office of Prime Minister of Turkey, he quickly changed the purpose of Ak Saray.
However, some of Turkey’s poorer residents remark that President Erdoǧan is acting more as a sultan than a president.
Heritage voices chime in, currently agreeing on the issue of President Erdoǧan attempting to impress other countries with Turkey’s lavish setting for the President, rather than focusing on the economic issues in the country.
“Most of the country is in turmoil right now and the fact the president is worried more about the luxury he is in than how much food the citizens are getting is disturbing,” says Alana Shoob ‘16.
However, Ak Saray is even being compared to the Palce of Versailles that was built during the absolutist era in France.
“I think that by building the Palace of Versailles in France, it eventually led France to ruin due to the costs of the palace. With the economic stress in Turkey right now, it can’t end well,” says Katy Cohen ’16.
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