President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's security convoy during his visit to New York City included dozens of luxury vehicles on Sept. 20, which is characteristic of the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) excessive spending patterns.
Visiting the metropolis for the 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Erdoğan was spotted riding down a Manhattan street in a convoy including Mercedes cars, buses and ambulances on Sept. 20.
"Waste in the state, waste in the world," main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy Tuncay Özkan wrote on Twitter alongside the video, referencing Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's quote "Peace in the state, peace in the world."
Erdoğan'ın ABD konvoyu...— Tuncay ÖZKAN (@ATuncayOzkan) September 20, 2021
Yurtta israf, cihanda israf. pic.twitter.com/soneyICNte
The president often rides around in flashy convoys that are thought to be reflective of the wasteful spending that's characteristic of his AKP government.
Designated to "alleviate lack of funds or finance services not foreseen in the budget," the "miscellaneous" item on the presidency budget was spent ten times more than initially designed in 2021, the daily Birgün reported on Sept. 21.
Some 9.8 billion Turkish Liras were allocated to the "miscellaneous" item at the beginning of the 2021 fiscal year, but spending under this category had already spiked to 83 billion liras at the end of August.
Often criticized by the Court of Accounts for allowing for unsupervised spending outside of the budget, the "miscellaneous" budget item was placed under the jurisdiction of the president in 2017, and has seen an increase in the spending amount ever since.
With six billion liras allocated in 2017, the actual spending in this category had already been surpassed with 38 billion at the end of the year, and has consistently been over-budget since the president took charge of it.