A study by Turkish journalist Semra Topcu has found that the country is number one in having official cars with 125,000 vehicles while the presidency alone has 268.
Topcu published the study through her YouTube channel, saying the number of state-used vehicles in Japan stood at 10,000, 9,000 in Germany, and 8,000 in France, respectively.
Turkey was also leading in the number of official airplanes, according to the analysis. There are 16 presidential planes in the country, while Japan has two, Germany 12 and France 14 airplanes.
The two former Turkish presidents, Ahmet Necdet Sezer, and Suleyman Demirel used the same two official cars during their tenures.
Bulent Ecevit, the former prime minister who served before the Justice and Development Party (AKP) governments, used scheduled flights of the Turkish Airways, the national flag carrier airline of Turkey.
Many political leaders in the world, such as the prime ministers of Germany, Italy, and Finland, are known to be using scheduled flights for their travels.
Before Erdogan, the Turkish presidency had no VIP airplanes, while he, as the PM, had 11 planes at the time.
In the 2015 annual report of the AKP government, the then AKP PM Ahmet Davutoglu, Erdogan’s ally-turned-rival, revealed for the first time the number of planes belonging to the prime ministry.
At the time, Davutoglu also announced that the planes-related costs in 2015 were 25,9million liras (around 4 million euros).
After Davutoglu’s forced resignation from the PM post in 2016, the AKP government does no longer reveal the state’s vehicle-related figures anymore.
Following switching the country’s system of government to an executive presidency, the Erdogan administration bought the 12th plane from Tunisia.
The plane once belonged to Tunisia’s ousted leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, costing Ankara $78 million.
The Turkish public has not been informed in any way about the three planes bought afterward.
However, the 16th plane has stirred outrage among Erdogan’s critics who questioned whether the president was using taxpayers’ money to buy a jet while the country was struggling to avert a financial crisis.
The jet, a Boeing 747-8i, which is known as the largest and most expensive private jet in the world, was received from Sheikh Tamim Al Thani, Qatar’s emir.
Erdogan hit back at critics, saying he had shown interest in purchasing the aircraft when it was up for sale for around $500 million.
However, Erdogan claimed the emir donated the luxury jet to Turkey when he realized that he was interested in it.
In September, Istanbul’s newly elected mayor Ekrem Imamoglu from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) piled up 1717 surplus cars that had been rented during the rule of the AKP government for use by officials of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (IBB) and party members.
Before the June 23 mayoral race in Istanbul, Imamoglu had promised to display the redundant cars to reveal the extent of the municipality’s extravagance if he was elected as the city’s new mayor.
The vehicles, once distributed to many different places across the country, were gathered and lined up side by side in Istanbul’s Yenikapi square at the time to show the AKP’s excess spendings.