Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's president and has spared no expense during his term. His new palace, constructed against court orders, was inaugurated last week and cost about $615 million.
The president said in March that “no one can prevent the completion of this building. If they are powerful enough, let them come and demolish it.”
Atilla Yesilada, an economist at GlobalSource Partners, said the palace proves Erdogan’s “increasing sense of being above the country he governs and the rule of law. Whoever criticizes Erdogan and the ruling elite’s behavior is labeled a betrayer of the nation.”
It would take a long time to demolish this building - it has 1,000 rooms, green granite inlays and silk wallpaper in the bathroom. Trees planted on the grounds, probably costing over $3,500 apiece to import, quickly died. The palace is over 30 times larger than the White House and bigger than the Palace of Versailles in France.
Earlier this year, thousands of demonstrators on the streets of Istanbul, Turkey for a May Day protest against the government were met by riot police, tear gas and water cannons.