German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul on 18 October 2015, but not at the Presidential Palace in Ankara
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Chancellor Angela Merkel had a meeting in Istanbul on 18 October 2015 instead of the Presidential Palace in Ankara, the capital city of Turkey. Merkel was welcomed at the Mabeyn Mansion of the Yildiz Palace in Istanbul.
Some national and international media portals including the Financial Times claimed that the reason why Merkel was hosted in Istanbul rather than Ankara was because she did not want to be framed with President Erdogan in front of the Presidential Palace, which has 1,100 rooms.1
Lately the Presidential Complex located in Bestepe neighborhood of Ankara has been subject to debate and criticism. Shortly after the construction was finished, Turkish opposition leaders have become quite concerned with the issue and speculation over the cost of the palace ran through the media, suggesting that the construction company made profit more than 1,000 percent. It was also claimed that the glass used in the windows cost 700 million Turkish Liras, and the marble 3,000 Turkish Liras per meter squared.
However, shortly after this claim, the head of the German Governmental Press, Steffen Seibert, released a statement which revealed that Merkel’s Istanbul visit instead of Ankara does not bear any relation with the rumour.
After Merkel’s visit, Seibert pointed out that the location where Merkel would pay her visit had been already decided by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, not by the Chancellor, stressing that “the location of the meeting can only be decided by the host, not by the guest.”2