Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is celebrating his party’s election victory by announcing plans to move into a sumptuous palace overlooking the Bosphorus in Istanbul. The Times of London reports:
A sumptuous palace built for the last Ottoman sultan is to become President Erdogan’s private Istanbul residence, a move that is likely to draw fierce criticism.
The Yildiz Palace, set in green parks overlooking the Bosphorus, was completed in 1880 by Sultan Abdulhamid II and comprises a residential palace and a series of buildings originally used as offices, factories and leisure areas.
After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1922 it was briefly used as a casino before being handed to the ministry of culture in 1978. For the past two decades it has been open to the public as a museum but will now be refurbished and renamed the Istanbul Presidential Complex.
Mr Erdogan, whose AK party secured a convincing election victory on November 1, has already attracted derision for his newly built presidential palace in the capital, Ankara, which has more than 1,000 rooms and cost $350 million.
The palace in Ankara, the Ak Saray, has four times the floor space of Versailles, and Erdogan uses it to greet foreign dignitaries with honor guards of dress-up Ottoman warriors. It was even rumored (probably falsely) to have a golden toilet. But it’s very modern; now, Erdogan will have a palace where the dress-up warriors will feel more at home.
As we’ve said before, when Erdogan wakes up in the morning, he goes to shave a Sultan in the mirror. Now, even the setting in the background will be accurate.