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Turkish Parliament paying $200,000 a month to lease official cars

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The Turkish Parliament is paying TL 1.2 million (approximately $200,000) for the monthly lease of 78 official cars, according to a statement from Turkey’s Presidential Communications Center (CİMER), the Sözcü daily reported on Monday.

CİMER’s statement came in response to a question raised by an opposition deputy, Murat Emir, from the Republican People’s Party (CHP).

The Turkish Parliament has until now refused to answer parliamentary questions posed by opposition deputies about the expenses of official cars leased by lawmakers.

The cars are used by members of parliament’s presidency council, deputy parliament speakers and the heads of commissions in parliament.

According to CİMER’s statement, the Turkish Parliament has leased vehicles to be used as official cars in this legislative year just as it did in previous years. It rented 66 cars to be used as official cars and 12 others to be used for the daily needs of the parliament: 32 2019 Audi A6s, 38 2019 Volkswagen Passats, and seven 2015 and one 2017 Volkswagen Passats.

Emir told Sözcü his question about the gasoline costs of the cars was answered inaccurately. He said CİMER said the fuel expenditures of the 78 automobiles was TL 479,000 a month; however, the CHP deputy said this figure was from four years ago.

At a time when the Turkish lira has lost almost 30 percent of its value against the US dollar since the beginning of 2018, and government officials frequently talking about the importance of austerity measures, the amount of money paid by the Turkish Parliament to rent luxurious official cars is found unacceptable by opposition circles.

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