Emine – the wife of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan – asserts to lead an unassuming life, spending time relegated to the palace kitchen, hands full with chores.
Erdogan’s grand palace: costly folly or symbol of new Turkey?
While Erdogan is said to have amassed a personal fortune in excess of £100 million, Daily Mail Online reports that the “humble and modest” Emine has a proclivity to spend. With consecutive shopping excursions being a routine fixture of her lifestyle, the Turkish first lady is said to have a penchant for designer labels and prohibitively-priced antiques.
“As a quarter of her country live in extreme poverty and almost two million live on just £3 a day, the president's wife boasts she drinks specialist white tea at £1,500 a kilogramme… and drinks it from gold leaf glasses worth £250 each. She once closed down a shopping mall in Brussels to go on a designer shopping spree and while accompanying her husband on an official visit to Warsaw in Poland blew through more than £37,000 while browsing an antiques bazaar. Any items she found would no doubt be needed for the sprawling palace Erdogan has constructed in the foothills outside the Turkish capital Ankara,” the report goes on to state.
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The palatial complex – spread over 1.6 square miles – reportedly cost over half a billion pounds to construct. The palace features wallpaper costing as much as £2,000 per roll and £36,000-double doors, placed across a myriad of rooms. According to the report, the total expense incurred on just doors exceeds £26m. Around seven million pounds are said to have been forked-out in connection with carpeting the sprawling complex.
Critics of the cavernous building have said it is so extravagant that it would have left Saddam Hussein blushing. Others have derided the architecture of the palace saying it looks like more like a Chinese railway station than anything from the Ottoman era, Daily Mail Online goes on to add.
The Turkish first lady was earlier assailed after a pro-AKP publication tried to project her as someone who religiously monitored household expenses. The said article went on to elucidate how Emine supervised the palace kitchen and made it a point for even fruit peels to be recycled.
While the story exhorted Turks to follow in the footsteps of Mrs Erdogan and drink tea from the country’s Rize region, it stopped short of detailing how the particular variety of tea served at the palatial complex cost upwards £1,000. The Turkish first lady and her husband were labelled hypocrites on social media following the publication of the article.
Some photos of the Erdogans' £500million palace:
The article originally appeared on Mail Online.
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