Worker tells of lengthy security checks at presidential palace

Members of staff working at Turkeyand’s new presidential palace have to deal with a variety of difficult working conditions including a large number of security checks, according to a source at the palace.
On Friday the Taraf daily reported a palace worker, E.A., as saying said that most palace staff had to enter the palace through separate entrances, eat in separate dining halls and park their cars in separate cars parks to aisers of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The source also added there are police checks every 50-100 meters upon entering the grounds of the palace. Every day, workers have to go through X-ray machines as many as six times, E.A. said.
The source, who is said to work in the palaceand’s human resources department, claims that despite the public having been told that the palace contains 1,150 rooms, it actually has as many as 2,000. Adding that there are currently 3,000 people regularly employed in the palace but that on any given day, a great many more people are at work there, E.A. told Taraf, and”The [presidential] aisers get special menus in VIP dining halls, whereas we receive set meals.and”
The presidential palace, also known as and”Ak Saray,and” is an immense complex, roughly 30 times the size of the White House, according to a recent article in The New York Times.
The presidential palace has been dubbed the and”Kaandcand’Ak-Saray,and” a pun based on the word and”kaandcak,and” which means and”runawayand” or and”illegaland” in Turkish. The nickname is intended to highlight the illegality of the building, which was built on the Atatandurk Forestry Farm (AOC), a recreational farming area donated to the state by Mustafa Kemal Atatandurk, the founder of the Turkish Republic.
Stating that commuting to work and entering the building on a daily basis is the most difficult part of his job, E.A. says: and”Because there is almost no way of taking public transportation to the palace, due to its location, it is very hard for an employee if they do not live near the route of the [palaceand’s] coach service. You either have to use your own car or you have to take a taxi.and”
and”There are four entrances into the palace, including the protocol entrance [for the president]. If you are a middle or low-level employee there is only one entrance you can use, and that is gate number one. If you come to work in your own car, you go through checks to the trunk and underside of the car. After parking your car, you have to walk from eight to 10 minutes if youand’re going to the main south building, or 12 to 15 minutes if youand’re going to the north building, depending on where you park,and” he added.
Both Development Minister Cevdet Yilmaz and Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek have claimed that the total cost of the palace came to TL 1.37 billion ($615 million), but many claim that the actual figure is much higher than this.
The palace has been at the center of heated debates in recent years after Erdogan ignored a number of court orders to halt construction. After one court ruling in March 2013, then-Prime Minister Erdogan openly defied the decision, brazenly telling reporters: and”Let them demolish it if they have enough power to do so. They ordered a stay of execution, but they will not be able to stop it. I will open it [the palace] and I will sit in it.and”

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman