Erdoğan’s palace costs country 900,000 liras an hour, says main opposition CHP MP

It costs the government 900,000 Turkish Liras to operate the Presidential Palace in Ankara, said main opposition CHP lawmaker Ali Mahir Başarır.

Duvar English

During a time period when the government is calling for excessive saving measures in public institutions, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) parliamentary deputy group leader Ali Mahir Başarır has drawn attention to the Presidential Palace’s expenses.

Başarır said that just to operate the Presidential Palace for 1 hour, it costs 900,000 liras, according to reporting by ANKA news agency. “The total expenses of the (Presidential) Palace in the first six months (of 2023) was 2.1 billion liras, i.e. 21 million liras a day, and 900,000 liras an hour. The Palace’s cost of expenses for 1 minute is 15,000 liras which corresponds to two retired salaries,” Başarır said during a speech at the parliament on July 26.

He said that the Presidential Palace’s expenses for the month of May amounted to 316 million liras, whereas 647 million liras for June.

“You (referring to the government) are suggesting saving measures, but all of the vehicles (used at public institutions) are very luxurious. One month ago, the Communications Directorate (of the Presidency) rented 9 vehicles and minibuses for 9 million liras. And all of these vehicles are 2022 model,” he said.

He said that government officials’ emphasis on austerity measures do not go in line with their real actions. “These are really shameful images and expenses of the Palace regime who has been saying ‘Tighten your belts.' The car purchasing expenses of the public institutions was 547 million liras in the first six months of the year. Last year, this figure was 76 million. Approximately, it has increased by eightfold," Başarır said. 

On July 17, Treasury and Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek sent a circular to all public institutions and stated that all expenditures, except for those spent for earthquake relief, should be reviewed and excessive saving methods should be implemented. On Twitter, Şimşek stated, “We will also rationalize public expenditures.”