Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sued an opposition leader for accusing him of installing golden toilet seats in his residence. The spat comes six days ahead of national elections.
Erdogan's lawyer, Muammer Cemaloglu, sought 100,000 Turkish Liras (33,560 euros; $37,300) from opposition chief Kemal Kilicdaroglu as compensation after the opposition leader accused the president of installing gold-plated toilet seats at the newly built presidential palace.
Erdogan challenged Republican People's Party head Kilicdaroglu to search the complex and find out for himself.
"Hey, Kilicdaroglu, when did you tour the toilets and clean them and thus found out that they were gold-plated," Erdogan asked his opponent, inviting him to inspect the presidential compound.
Kilicdaroglu rejected the invitation and replied to the president's attack on CNN Turk television, saying, "I kiss the eyes of those toilet cleaners, those laborers who provide for their children. This answer should be enough."
"I know Erdogan's lust for gold, dollars, euros," he added.
Kemal Kilicdaroglu: against toilets with golden seats
The Turkish president has been repeatedly criticized for investing over 490 million euros of taxpayers' money in building his new official residence.
The Turkish Union of Engineers and Architects Chambers has joined the debate, claiming the toilets at the presidential palace cost up to 10,000 Turkish Lira or around $3,700.
The palace has over 1,100 rooms and is built over an expanse of 200,000 square meters in a suburb of Ankara. It is believed to be more than 30 times the size of the White House and bigger than the French palace of Versailles.
The spat comes shortly before polls are to be held, in which Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) is hoping to clinch a two-thirds majority.
mg/kms (AFP, AP)