The annual investment program published in the Official Gazette on Saturday shows that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will have two more palaces to enjoy this year, a summer palace and a winter one, costing taxpayers some 740 million liras, or 86.26 million euros – despite the ongoing economic and health crises in the country.
One will be built at the popular resort of Marmaris on the Aegean and the other will be built in Ahlat, a lakeside town in eastern Turkey.
The summer palace at Marmaris was supposed to cost 150 million liras when it was started back in 2018 but the cost has skyrocketed because of additional expenses.
The high cost of the new palaces and the maintenance cost of the existing presidential palace have drawn criticism from the opposition and experts who say that taxes are being spent unwisely in an economic crisis that has toughened the lives of most ordinary people.
In his column on Monday for the daily Sozcu, Murat Muratoglu criticized the high cost of “state representation” for Turkey “a country … where people are unemployed, hungry and poor”.
Read more: Balkan Insight