Turkey’s new presidential palace has 1,150 rooms, not 1,000, Sultan Erdoğan reveals

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Sultan Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has defended the gargantuan size of Turkey’s new presidential palace in Ankara – revealing that it has more than 1,150 rooms, rather than 1,000 as previously reported.

“It does not have 1,000 rooms. It has more than 1,150 rooms,” Erdoğan said while speaking at a meeting of Anatolian business group ASKON in Istanbul on Dec 6.

The cost of Turkey’s controversial new presidential palace, on the other hand, currently stands at 1.37 billion Turkish Liras ($615 million), according to official figures.

Erdogan is pictured here at the foot of a staircase in the Ak Saray

Erdogan is pictured here at the foot of a staircase in the Ak Saray

Turkey ’s new president has been accused of behaving like a “sultan” after he installed himself in the biggest residential palace in the world, built for a price tag of £384 million.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan now resides in the White Palace, which was constructed in breach of court orders in protected forest land in the capital, Ankara.

The Ak Saray dominates the skyline on the western edge of Ankara

The Ak Saray dominates the skyline on the western edge of Ankara

Boasting 1,150 rooms covering a total floor area of 3.1 million square feet, the palace is four times the size of Versailles, allowing Mr Erdogan to exceed the residential grandeur of Louis XIV, the “Sun King” of France.

Inside the palace, a majestic hallway leads up to a sweeping staircase. The quixotic architectural style seems to cross the Ottoman and Seljuk traditions with that of a modern Chinese railway station.

The bathrooms have silk wallpaper and the whole edifice is surrounded by a forested park. Hundreds of trees were felled to make way for the president’s new home.

Boasting 1,150 rooms covering a total floor area of 3.1 million square feet, the palace is four times the size of Versailles, allowing Mr Erdogan to exceed the residential grandeur of Louis XIV, the “Sun King” of France.

The palace is bigger than a host of more famous state buildings, including the Kremlin and Buckingham Palace

The palace is bigger than a host of more famous state buildings, including the Kremlin and Buckingham Palace

Inside the palace, a majestic hallway leads up to a sweeping staircase. The quixotic architectural style seems to cross the Ottoman and Seljuk traditions with that of a modern Chinese railway station.

The bathrooms have silk wallpaper and the whole edifice is surrounded by a forested park. Hundreds of trees were felled to make way for the president’s new home.

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Critics of Erdogan, who won the presidency in August, denounced the project as a folie de grandeur. “The so-called sultan has built this for himself in a country where three million people are without work,” said Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of the opposition Republican People’s party.

“You cut down hundreds of trees to build yourself this palace.”

Erdogan served as prime minister for 11 years before ascending to the presidency. Although his AK party does not hold the two thirds majority in parliament required to amend the constitution, his ambition is to turn this traditionally ceremonial post into the new centre of power in Turkey.

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Unlike all previous presidents, Erdogan routinely chairs cabinet meetings. He has also spent £115 million on a new presidential jet, designed and supplied by Airbus to his own specification.