The new official residence of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was unveiled on Wednesday amid increasing questions over the construction of the building, which is one of the most costly presidential complexes in the world, Turkish daily ‘Zaman’ reports.
Ak Saray (White Palace) which was built on Atatürk Forestry Farm (AOÇ) on 300,000 square meters of land, on the outskirts of Ankara is one of the largest palaces in the world. The building was denounced by ecologists as an environmental blight and by the opposition as evidence of his autocratic tendencies.
The new palace has been the centre of controversy, as Erdoğan ignored a number of court orders to halt construction. Despite a court ruling in March of this year, Erdoğan, who was then still prime minister, told reporters: “Let them demolish it if they have enough power for this. They ordered a stay of execution but they will not be able to stop it. I will open it and I will sit in it.”
Although there is no official statement regarding the cost of Ak Saray, experts estimate that Erdoğan’s new headquarters has probably cost about TL 1 billion ($444 million).