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Nov 13, 2014 | ERDOĞAN

Erdoğan: Big In Turkey & Then Some

You can say a lot of things against Recep Tayyip Erdogan but one thing you certainly cannot is that he doesn't think big. As a visionary politician aspiring for the tenet of true leadership, perpetual rule, thinking big is his default setting. "Never go smaller when you can go bigger" is rumored to be embroidered in all his linen.


In the past we have got acquainted with his grandiose mentality and drive for maximum potential through such daring and ahead-of-their-time plans like: constructing the largest airport in the world, banning the internet (or failing that all social networks), defeating international alliances of evil, jailing the most journalists in the world and democratically retain power for ever. Granted, some may say that these are  not really ahead-of-their-time but rather more back-to-the-stone-age kind of schemes, but let's not get bogged down on semantics.


His latest attempt to cement his reputation in the ÜBER-SUPREMIUM LEADERS CLUB and rise above his fellow members, is his new presidential palace. As you know, some leaders are all talk, castles in the sky and such. Others who manage build their dream-castles do so on sand only to watch them crumble with the tide. And then there are those like Erdogan who erect the visions on solid, freshly deforested land, with taxpayers money no less.


To describe the new Turkish presidential sprawling palace as big would be an understatement of preposterous scale, its size dwarfs such antiquated palatial abodes like the White House, the Kremlin and the palatial complex in Versailles. You can basically fit in there, three Egyptian & five Inca pyramids, a dozen blue whales (half of which in the pool), the town of Nantucket, Massachusetts and 7 Airbus A380s. You can also sleep & dine the entire population of Malta on the same night.


Apart from all the expected luxuries & amenities (daunting marble halls, light-filled atriums, gilded door-knobs, automatic toilet flush, matching wallpaper & glass coasters, etc) and the technological advancements (cutting edge building management system, electronic eavesdropping counter-measures, voice-activated toasters and holographic maids), the palace also offers world-class facilities for  hosting any possible global event, including WTO ministerial conferences, NATO summits, the Eurovision song contest and the summer Olympics.


Now, if you think that a single oversize palace suffices to quenched Erdogan's palatial requirements, think again. The Vahdettin mansion in Istanbul, home to the last Ottoman Sultan no less, has been lavishly restored and is reportedly selected to become the summer Presidential residence. It is only logical to speculate that we will soon be hearing about some new winter-wonderland palace the size of a mountain (Ararat maybe) or an island-size spa-retreat palace.


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