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Turkey spent over TL 10 mln a day to protect Erdoğan in April

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Turkey’s Department of Presidential Security, which is responsible for the protection of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, his family and presidential residences, spent more than 10 million Turkish lira ($465,107) a day in April, Turkish media reported on Tuesday.

According to data from Turkey’s Security General Directorate (EGM), affiliated with the Interior Ministry, the department spent TL 832,285,000 ($38.7 million) in the first four months of 2023.

Journalist Murat Ağırel on Monday said in a tweet, also citing EGM data for the previous months, that the department had spent TL 99,991,576 ($4.6 million) in January, TL 168,761,429 ($7.8 million) in February, TL 245,098,085 ($11.4 million) in March and TL 318,434,219 ($14.8 million) in April.

“The daily security expenditure [for Erdoğan], which was TL 8,169,000 [$379,946] in March, increased to TL 10,614,000 [$493,665] in April,” Ağırel said.

The Department Presidential Security outspent many others affiliated with the EGM, including the Intelligence Department, the Anti-Narcotics Crimes Department and the Counterterrorism Department, which spent TL 126 million ($5.8 million), TL 67 million ($3.1 million) and TL 90 million ($4.1 million), respectively, in April.

Erdoğan’s large security detail, traveling with him in a convoy of more than 10 vehicles, has drawn criticism for extravagance due to the use of a number of luxury cars and also for making Erdoğan, who was called the “man of the people” in campaign slogans, inaccessible to the people.

The precise number of security personnel safeguarding President Erdoğan and the presidential premises has remained undisclosed for years, with queries from parliament members going unanswered.

The news of this expenditure comes against a backdrop of economic stress for many Turkish citizens. According to data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat), between 2002 and 2021, 5,414 people died by suicide in Turkey due to financial issues. The Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in 2002, and in the last five years of this period, 1,411 suicides were reported.

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