1,150 policemen guard Erdogan’s 1,150-room palace: report

Military honour guard stand outside the main building of the new Presidential Palace complex after a welcome ceremony for Russian President Vladimir Putin in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. (AP)

Turkey’s new presidential palace in Ankara - which boasts “at least” 1,150 rooms, according to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan – is guarded by 1,150 policemen, the Istanbul-based Hurriyet Daily News reported on Friday.

In contrast, 450 guards stand at Cankaya, the former presidential palace. With a $20 million security system in place, and 3,000 surveillance cameras around a five-kilometer fence, the new palace is guarded against any possibility of wiretapping – a priority for Erdogan, whose office was wiretapped in 2013 when he was prime minister.

Erdogan opened his hugely controversial new presidential palace on the outskirts of Ankara in October. It has 1,150 rooms and was built at a cost of around $615 million.

He says that the palace is a symbol of a resurgent Turkey which he is building. But opponents decry it as an extravagance in an increasingly authoritarian state.

Last month, Erdogan said he would soon re-name the new presidential palace adopting the name of the complexes surrounding imperial mosques.

In the future, the palace would be known as the Presidential Kulliye and will contain a mosque, convention center and a gigantic new national library.

Last Update: 08:41 KSA 11:41 - GMT 08:41