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Erdogan's $350M presidential palace

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has filled his newly constructed palace in Ankara with symbolism of his overthrow of Turkey’s old regime.
Turkey's new President Tayyip Erdogan (2nd L) and outgoing President Abdullah Gul (R), attend a handover ceremony at the Presidential Palace of Cankaya in Ankara August 28, 2014. Erdogan was sworn in as Turkey's 12th president at a ceremony in parliament on Thursday, cementing his position as the country's most powerful modern leader, in what his opponents fear will herald an increasingly authoritarian rule. REUTERS/Umit Bektas (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR444TR

On Aug. 28, when Recep Tayyip Erdogan took over Turkey’s presidency from Abdullah Gul, his comrade-in-arms and co-founder of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), he declared the day “the birthday of New Turkey.”

In terms of the continuity of the existing constitutional system, Erdogan’s pronouncement is devoid of any substance and a poor metaphor. The only new thing about Turkey so far is the way Erdogan was elected — the country's first popular presidential election. And, of course, his ascent to the presidency is a novelty in itself. So Erdogan seems to suggest that he himself is the embodiment of the “New Turkey.”

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