Megalomaniac Turkish President: ‘Cockroaches made me want new $615 mn palace’

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Istanbul (AFP) – If cockroaches infest someone’s house or office, they might put down some poison or maybe call in the pest-controllers.

But President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey had a more radical solution. The presence of cockroaches in his old offices, he revealed in an interview, were the reason why he needed a vast new presidential palace outside Ankara.

Erdogan’s new $615 million presidential palace in the outskirts of Ankara has been ridiculed by the opposition as the tasteless and needless extravagance of an increasingly authoritarian leader.

But in an interview with A-Haber television broadcast late Friday, Erdogan said his reasons for needing the 1,150-room palace were much more mundane.

He said his old offices when he was prime minister from 2003-2014 were infested with cockroaches.

“A guest would come to the old prime ministry office and find cockroaches in the bathroom. That’s why we built this palace.”

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