In slap at Turkey, Syrian government to build replica of Hagia Sophia with help from Russia

From Time magazine, Nov. 2014:

“President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s presidential palace, over 30 times the size of the White House and four times the size of Versailles, is costing Turkey $615 million, the country’s finance minister said Tuesday.

The lavish residence, which had an expected price tag of $315 million, comes with a $185 million Airbus presidential jet tailored to Erdogan’s design preferences, according to Bloomberg.

For years, the former Turkish Prime Minister had been accused of abusing taxpayers’ money when he helped design the extravagant, 1,000-room building known as the White Palace. Several court orders were ineffective in stopping the construction and expansion of the building, which totals over 3.1 million square feet.”

Erdogan’s critics believe the mega mansion is a sign that he feels superior to the law that governs the country, an economist at GlobalSource Partners told Bloomberg. Other critics have likened Erdogan’s palace to the People’s Palace built by Romania’s communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, who was infamous for his brutal and repressive regime.”

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