Ankara, June 30 () - Eccentric Turkish model Tuğçe Kazaz has stepped into the long-running toilet dispute between President Tayyip Erdoğan and Republican People’s Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, saying the extravagant presidential palace does not have gold-plated toilet seats.
In her first ever book, which hit the shelves on June 28, “Derin Uyku” (“Deep Sleep” in Turkish), Kazaz describes her visit to the controversial palace on Feb. 24 and denies Kılıçdaroğlu’s allegations that the palace has gold-plated toilets.
“I used the toilets twice during my visit to the presidential palace and I never saw a gold-plated toilet. Either Kılıçdaroğlu is color blind or he is so fond of gold that he has dreamed about the palace having golden toilet seats” she writes.
With her latest comments, Kazaz, who is a controversial figure in Turkey over her rapidly-changing views on religious and political matters, attracted considerable social media attention.
Kazaz previously stirred controversy by converting to Christianity, then converting back to Islam. In recent years she has started to advocate highly conservative values in line with the Turkish government, waging a personal war against people she has labelled "anti-democratic secularists."
Turkey's "toilet debate" was first sparked by Kılıçdaroğlu during a pre-election rally in Ankara on May 31 when he criticized President Erdoğan over sumptuous expenditures, including the gargantuan new presidential palace.
“I am not eager for a palace, I am not eager for a golden toilet seat, I am not eager to hit the jackpot” the CHP leader said.
Erdoğan responded to Kılıçdaroğlu later on the same day, challenging him to visit the palace and see for himself whether there were any golden toilet seats.
After Kılıçdaroğlu refused to set foot in the palace, which he has boycotted since its inauguration last year, Erdoğan filed a petition to court on June 2, arguing Kılıçdaroğlu had “crossed the limits of freedom of expression” with “slander and lies.”