Muharrem Erkek, the Vice Chairman of the parliamentary main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), tabled a parliamentary question, claiming that the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s summer palace under construction since 2017 will be reconstructed at the behest of Erdoğan and his family.
At least 50 thousand trees had been cut for the construction of the palace for the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s summer palace at the Okluk Bay located in Turkey’s southwestern province Muğla, and a filling area of 10,966 meters square had been filled with special sand and gravels to turn the area into a beach.
For the palace which has been spent 330 million TL [$57,654,896.44] up until today, the Turkish government allocated a budget of an additional 30 million TL [$5,241,321.89] in 2019.
Bringing up the claims to the agenda of the Turkish parliament, Muharrem Erkek stated in his parliamentary question, "According to a report given to me, the Turkish President and his family were not satisfied with some parts of the summer palace under construction at the Okluk Bay in Muğla, and therefore the summer palace will be reconstructed based upon the demands of Erdoğan and his family."
Saying that "If these allegations are correct, the word ‘austerity’ only means a recommendation for citizens and it is not a concern for the political power’s representatives", Muharrem Erkek asked,"‘How much will the demolition and reconstruction of these parts of the summer palace cost? Which items will the authorities use to meet the expenses of this reconstruction work?"
The summer palace construction, which initially began as "maintenance work" of the four-roomed guest house built during the period of the 8th Turkish President Turgut Özal, has been transformed into a luxurious new "palace" for Erdoğan and his family.
ERDOĞAN’S SUMMER PALACE: A THREAT TO ECOSYSTEM
The construction of the Turkish President’s summer palace is also controversial because it has caused environmental destruction by deforestation of forest and the creation of a fill beach.
Many experts warn that the construction of the palace is illegal and unlicensed, and any settlement in the given area is outlawed; even fishing in the bay is illegal.
In June 2018, Birgün daily had reported that 120 thousand tons of sand carried by vessels from Şile, 735 kilometers away, were sprayed to the beaches and polluted the sea for the summer palace of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and this filling would disrupt the marine ecosystem.
"It is likely that there will be some loss of habitat along with the filling activities to be performed at the sea. Since species of aquatic fauna are relatively active, they will leave their habitat during construction and will go to more convenient areas", Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report had previously warned about the construction of the summer palace and its impact on environment and ecosystem in the region.
A previous report in May 2018 revealing that "40 thousand of trees were cut down for Erdoğan’s summer palace" had been banned by a Turkish court on the pretext of ‘insulting the Turkish President.’