Architects’ union files 55 lawsuits against Ak Saray presidential palace

The Ankara branch of the Turkish Union of Engineers and Architectsand’ Chambers (TMMOB) is currently pursuing 55 separate lawsuits regarding the Ak Saray presidential palace and the protected forestland upon which it was built, according to an announcement from Chairwoman Tezcan Karakui Candan over the weekend.
and”Until this lawlessness comes to an end, and until those responsible appear in front of a judge, our struggle continues,and” said Candan. The Ankara branch of the TMMOB has been closely investigating the Ak Saray since the palaceand’s construction was completed last year. It has released numerous estimates pertaining to the exorbitant expenses that the palace has racked up, including TL 35 million for 200 chandeliers adorned with Swarovski crystals.
Constructed inside the Atatandurk Forestry Farm (AOandc) on an area of 300,000 square meters, the Ak Saray has also been touted as the worldand’s largest presidential palace. The palace has also been dubbed and”Kaandcand’Ak Saray,and” calling to mind the Turkish word and”kaandcak,and” which means runaway or illegal, in a play on words intended to highlight the illegality of the construction. The presidential palace, located in Ankaraand’s Beitepe neighborhood, was built despite a number of court orders to halt its construction.
Even after an order from the Ankara 5th Administrative Court to halt to the construction on the protected AOandc land, then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan challenged the decision, saying: and”Let them demolish it if they have enough power to do so. They ordered an injunction, but they will not be able to stop it. I will open it and I will sit in it.and”
The lavish palace, which according to official estimates was built at a cost of TL 1.37 billion, has been the subject of continued criticism, amid low minimum wages and pensions for retirees who have been stretched beyond their means as inflation has risen to higher than expected levels over the past year. Critics have asserted that the actual costs are significantly higher than the official figure that was announced by Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek in November of last year. The Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKi) earlier this year refused to reveal the palaceand’s costs.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman