Erdogan promises private jet for top Muslim cleric

AP News
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Posted: May 27, 2015 3:58 AM

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he will ask the government to provide a private jet to the country's top Muslim cleric, ignoring criticism caused by his earlier promise to give the cleric a Mercedes.

Erdogan told NTV television late Tuesday that Mehmet Gormez, who heads a government body that regulates religious affairs, was a respected Islamic religious leader who deserved the same conveniences as the pope.

Erdogan said the pope "has a private jet, private cars and armored vehicles. That's the situation at the Vatican and our religious leader will take scheduled flights?"

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Last week Erdogan promised to allocate a Mercedes to Gormez after the cleric returned one following an uproar over the expenditure.

Erdogan has himself been criticized for moving into a 1,150-room palace.