Turkish president challenges opponent to 'find golden toilet seat'

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan poses after an official ceremony the new Presidential Palace in Ankara Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mr Erdogan says his palace is a "show of the country's prestige"

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has invited the main opposition party leader to inspect his presidential palace, after the politician claimed it had gold-plated toilet seats.

Mr Erdogan denied allegations by Republican People's Party chief, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, that he used taxpayers' money to decorate his bathroom.

He said he would resign if his opponent found a golden toilet seat in his home.

"I invite him to please come and take a tour," Mr Erdogan told state TV.

"If he finds one, I will resign from the presidency. If he can't find them - will he resign from the CHP (Republican People's Party)?

"I challenge him come to the palace to prove it," he added.

A thousand rooms

The interview with broadcaster TRT was conducted at the palace in a room filled with gold-coloured furniture, according to the Associated Press.

Mr Kilicdaroglu did not immediately respond to the invitation.

He has repeatedly criticised Mr Erdogan's lavish lifestyle in speeches ahead of a general election on Sunday.

He told supporters at a rally in Izmir: "Gentlemen in Ankara, palaces have been built for you, planes bought, Mercedes cars purchased... golden seats have been bought, that's how you use the toilet."

Mr Erdogan, who has dominated Turkish politics for more than a decade, built the 1,000-room palace in the capital Ankara at a cost of almost £400m ($615m) and moved in after he became president in in August 2014.

Bigger than either the White House or the Kremlin, it had already cost more than twice the original estimates of treasury officials.

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Media captionThe mansion was built on 150,000 sq m of forested hilltop in Ankara

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