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Bridge, mosque, airport – can Turkey afford Erdoğan’s mega-monuments?

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“This isn’t being built for the people who live here,” says Ethem Özdemir as he considers the enormous concrete dome gradually rising beyond his home.

His neighborhood lies on Istanbul’s Çamlıca Hill, a spot so favored that the Ottoman sultans who once ruled the city built pavilions here to enjoy the breathtaking view it commands of the Bosphorus Strait.

Now Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is crowning Çamlıca with a mosque larger than anything built by the sultans: it will have a capacity for 37,500 people and is costing some $45 million. – READ MORE

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