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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Turkey's Erdogan Dismisses Opposition Criticism Regarding New Presidential Palace

RIA Novosti

19:50 06/11/2014

ANKARA, November 6 (RIA Novosti) - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday has dismissed opposition criticism regarding the new presidential palace recently built in Ankara.

"Such places have the reputational importance. Our partners' attitude toward our country depends on those. Those who criticize our decision [to build the new palace] represent the old Turkey, they simply do not understand all the nuances," Erdogan told journalists in the airport of Ankara.

President highlighted that the old, historic residence does not meet the requirements of the government buildings, as it is located close to the road and in order to receive guests in the house, it was necessary to block the streets.

In September, Erdogan said he would be moving to a new residence soon, leaving the historic Çankaya Presidential Mansion. Some Turkish media and the opposition parties have strongly criticized the move, saying that spending of $615 million for the new residence was unjustified.

Erdogan added that the mosque will be built in the new palace, which would be available to anyone, as well as the congress-hall that may seat up to 2,000 people.

"We are watching the spending on the construction works very closely. If we see any abuses, the responsible parties will be punished," Erdogan explained.

The new Erdogan's residence is located in the outskirts of Ankara. It has 1,000 rooms with a total floor area of 3.1 million square feet, which makes the palace four times bigger than the well-known French Palace of Versailles.

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