Istanbul, Oct 19 () - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has lashed out at the opposition for criticizing his gargantuan presidential palace, dubbed the “unregistered palace” saying they will eventually submissively visit the palace like “lambs.”
Speaking during the inauguration ceremony of the Alaköprü Dam, part of a pipeline project to bring fresh water to Northern Cyprus, Erdoğan criticized opposition parties for trying to weaken a “democratically elected president.”
“Both the main opposition party and other opposition parties tirelessly mention the ‘unregistered palace’ in the face of a president who was elected by popular vote,” he said.
“May a stone as big as the ‘unregistered palace’ fall on your head,” he added, using a popular slang expression.
Erdoğan also challenged opposition leaders’ decision to avoid visiting the controversial palace in protest, saying they would eventually visit the palace “like lambs.”
“Sooner or later you will come like lambs” he said, implying the leaders will sooner or later submit.
In his speech, the president also criticized the opposition for “asking for the resignation of ministers at every turn.”
Pointing the finger at unknown forces for organizing military coups and terror attacks “whenever Turkey gained power,” Erdoğan argued the opposition had failed to give a unified response.
“They couldn’t unite even after the terrorist attack [referring to the Oct. 10 Ankara Massacre in which at least 102 people were killed]. They say this minister should resign,” he said. “Does it make sense to ask for resignations after every incident? Politicians who defame the state are the biggest obstacle in our fight against terror.”
Despite continuous pressure from opposition parties, Turkey’s interior and justice ministers have resolutely refused to resign over the Ankara blasts. To the contrary, Interior Minister Selami Altınok denied that there were any security shortcomings following the blast, while Justice Minister Kenan İpek simply grinned when asked if he would consider quitting.
Meanwhile, the cost of the 1,000-room presidential palace, which was at least 1.37 billion Turkish Liras ($615 million), and the legality to build it inside the Atatürk Forest Farm, have been criticized by the opposition.