TODAY’S – Gold glasses at ErdoIan’s palace worth more than minimum wage

Gold glasses at ErdoIan’s palace worth more than minimum wageGold-plated glasses unveiled at a dinner hosted by Emine ErdoIan, the countryand#39s first lady, in the controversial new presidential palace, are worth around $500 each, more than monthly minimum wage in Turkey, Tezcan KarakuI Candan, chairman of the Ankara office for the Turkish Union of Engineers and Architectsand#39 Chambers (TMMOB), claimed on Wednesday.Emine ErdoIan (Photo: DHA)In a press release regarding the new presidential building, Candan presented the results of the chamberand#39s calculations for the cost of the building and other expenditures for the palace.

Candan claimed that the glasses at the dinner were from an Ottoman collection and that the ornamentation on the glasses is made of gold, worth around TL 1,000 ($447) per glass. Highlighting that the amount is more than minimum monthly wage, Candan stated that the situation is an indicator of both indigence and lavishness in the country.

Candan further explained that the cost of the new presidential palace will surpass their estimate of TL 5 billion, possibly reaching TL 10 billion, since the Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKI) refused to disclose actual costs. Recently, the Ankara branch of the TMMOB sent an official letter to TOKI inquiring into the cost of the presidential palace however, the agency refused to reveal the cost, saying the disclosure of expenditures for construction of the palace might cause an economic crisis in the country.

Candan explained that this means a cost which may disrupt the countryand#39s stock exchange, and added that they demand from government officials the disclosure of building costs, item by itemCandan also claimed that a 4,000-square-meter carpet was ordered for the palace, costing 400,000 euros, roughly TL 12 million. This figure also equals the total monthly salaries of 600 teachers in Turkey.

Constructed on a 300,000-square-meter area inside the Ataturk Forestry Farm (AO) in Ankara, with a controversial building cost, the palace, which is publicly known as Ak Saray, has long since been the target of harsh criticism for its lavishness and size, considering its function as a place of residence for the president, which is a largely symbolic position in Turkey.President Recep Tayyip ErdoIan also touched on criticism of the newly built presidential palace, which Finance Minister Mehmet IimIek initially estimated would only cost TL 13 billion ($581 million), saying the new complex belongs to the nation, not to him, and that it shows where Turkey is governed fromandldquoThey have said this and that.

Let them say it. We donand#39t care at all.

We are in an effort to become a big state. We have Dolmabahe Palace and TopkapI Palace, which we are still proud of.

Do we have something that we can leave for the future generations? Look at this [palace]. When people ask where Turkey is governed, this palace will answer that question,andrdquo ErdoIan said.

andldquoThis is not Tayyip ErdoIanand#39s palace. This is the palace of the Turkish nation,andrdquo he added.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman