ErdoIan to opposition leader: Did you clean the palace’s toilets?

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in a debate over extravagant spending on his presidential palace, has taken his criticism of the main opposition partyand’s leader to a new level, asking him whether he knew about the toilets in the palace because he had cleaned them.
and”Hey, Kiliandcdaroilu. When did you tour the toilets of the Beitepe Kandulliye or clean them and thus found out that they were gold plated?and” Erdogan asked Republican Peopleand’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kiliandcdaroilu at a rally late on Monday.
Erdogan refers to the newly-built presidential palace in Ankaraand’s Beitepe neighborhood — criticized for its lavishness, high cost and legal troubles pertaining to construction permit — as a and”kandulliye.and” The word, which is of Arabic origin, was mostly used in Ottoman times to refer to a complex of buildings around a mosque that are generally run by a foundation for charitable purposes.
Kiliandcdaroilu, who has repeatedly criticized Erdoganand’s extravagance in campaign speeches ahead of a June 7 parliamentary election, responded to Erdogan in a televised interview later on Monday evening.
andquotThose laborers who clean toilets to earn a living for their children, I kiss them in the eye,andquot he said, using a Turkish expression that connotes affection. and”This response should be enough for him [Erdogan],and” Kiliandcdaroilu said in a program on the CNN Tandurk TV station.
Kiliandcdaroilu also said he did not specifically refer to the palace when he mentioned the gold-plated toilet seats.
andquotPhotos of the gold-plated toilet seats were in newspapers. Am I responsible if a civil servant gets himself a toilet with gold-plated seats? I did not mention the palace or other places. What I did was to make a clear call on the gentlemen in Ankara. If toilets in this country are getting gold-plated seats, someone should reflect on this. The gentleman must have seen it as a personal matter,andquot he said.
A recent newspaper report has claimed that Hatay Governor Ercan Topaca replaced toilets at the Governorand’s Office with ones with gold-plated seats as part of a renovation project done when he was the governor of Kocaeli. Topaca denied the report, saying the bathroom faucets and closet seats were covered with gold-yellow chromium, not gold, during a renovation five years ago.
At a rally in izmir on Saturday, Kiliandcdaroilu had slammed extravagant spending, saying: andquotentlemen in Ankara, palaces have been built for you, planes bought, Mercedes cars purchased … golden seats have been bought, thatand’s how you use the toilet.and”
Erdogan responded angrily, calling on Kiliandcdaroilu to prove his claim that any toilets in the 1,150-room complex have golden seats and vowing to resign if the CHP leader can find one. The presidency formally extended an invitation to Kiliandcdaroilu on Monday to inspect the toilets in the palace, but the CHP rejected the offer, saying it is out of the question for Kiliandcdaroilu to visit the and”illegally built palace.and”
andquotA president who believes in the rule of law and has the slightest respect for judicial rulings does not reside in an illegally built palace. It is out of the question for CHP leader Mr. Kiliandcdaroilu, who has internalized the principle of the rule of law and upholds the concepts of halal and haram [the Islamic notions denoting what is allowed and what is forbidden] as the main guideline of his conscience and personal ethics, to visit the illegally built palace,andquot CHP Secretary-General Gandursel Tekin said in a response letter to the Secretary-General of the Presidency Fahri Kasirga, who had extended the invitation on behalf of Erdogan.
The CHP and other critics say the palace was built illegally, in violation of a court decision ordering a halt on construction because it was in an environmentally protected zone.
Late on Monday, TRT Haberand’s website reported that Erdogan will sue Kiliandcdaroilu for and”slander,and” quoting a lawyer for the president.

h2Architects chamber: Toilets in palace more expensive than gold onesh2
The new presidential palace has been at the heart of criticism since it was officially opened in October 2014 due to its lavishness.
Joining the political debate over the palaceand’s toilets, the Turkish Union of Engineers and Architectsand’ Chambers (TMMOB), an avid monitor of the spending on the palace, repeated on Tuesday its earlier statements that the cost of toilets at the palace varied between TL 5,000 ($1,860) and TL 10,000 ($3,700).
and”So, the cost of the toilets is in fact higher than gold-plated ones,and” said Tezcan Karakui Candan, head of the TMMOBand’s Ankara branch. and”Profligacy and extravagance are undeniable,and” she said at a press conference.
TMMOBand’s latest price update was also stunning according to the chamberand’s estimates, the cost of 200 custom-made chandeliers illuminating the stairs at the entrance of the palace is a staggering TL 35 million ($13 million). Each chandelier is made up of 10,000 Swarovski crystals and individually cost at least 50,000 euros, according to Candan.

Each one of these chandeliers costs at least 50,000 euros, according to TMMOB. (Photo: Cihan)
The Finance Ministry has announced in the past that the cost of the palace was TL 1.37 billion ($510,000). But Candan said the cost, which has kept increasing with pricey furniture, imported plants and other beautifications, is now estimated to have reached TL 20 billion ($7.4 billion).

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman