Comedian John Oliver devoted a segment of his show to ridiculing the extravagance of the new Turkish presidential palace on the “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” show’s episode airing on Sunday night.
Oliver took a moment to mock the indulgence of the new presidential palace, called Ak Saray (the White Palace). He noted the unnecessary number of the palace’s 1,000 rooms, joking that after the first 500, it would be difficult to find uses for the remaining half. The comedian also underlined that the 1.6-million-square-foot palace has been built in a contentious area, the Atatürk Forestry Farm (AOÇ).
The segment poking fun at the excessively large presidential palace was peppered with news clips that shone a light on various areas of controversy around former Prime Minister and now-President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, from charges of massive corruption to alleged intimidation of newspaper editors.
Furthermore, Oliver highlighted that though President Erdoğan is an important ally for the US, he is a controversial figure for citizens of Turkey, quoting Erdoğan’s statement: “No one can prevent the completion of this building. If they are powerful enough, let them come and demolish it.”