Ak Saray presidential palace racks up TL 2 mln gas bill

The presidential palace, known as Ak Saray, racked up a natural gas bill of TL 2.4 million between October 2014 and May 2015, according to records recently released to the public.

With an average natural gas expenditure of more than TL 344,000 a month, Ak Saray’s monthly bill is the equivalent of the monthly salary of 363 minimum wage workers.

The palace was built last year and occupied for the first time in August 2014. The lavishness of the project has been the subject of much criticism.

Opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Sezgin Tanrikulu submitted a written question in Parliament on Tuesday to Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoilu, referencing palace expenditures, the details of which were provided by the Ankara branch of the Turkish Union of Engineers and Architects’ Chambers (TMMOB).

“How many gold-inlaid glasses can be found at the presidential palace? The palace carpets and the elevators that cost TL 31.2 million are equal to the salaries of how many subcontracted workers, the daily food expenses and transportation costs of how many minimum wage families? How many scholarships could be given to students and how many retiree pension increases?” Tanrikulu asked in the highly loaded question.

TMMOB figures claim that 63 elevators and a number of carpets in the palace cost a total of TL 31.2 million, while gold-inlaid glasses found at the palace reportedly cost TL 1,000 a piece.