Luxury car purchased for Turkey’s top cleric

A luxury vehicle has been purchased to serve as the official car of Turkey’s top cleric, Hürriyet has learned.

Mehmet Görmez, the head of Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet), will soon start using the Mercedes S500 sedan, which is worth 1 million Turkish Liras ($435,000). Moreover, 14 Toyota cars were bought for the Diyanet’s general directors, as well as 16 minibuses to serve the organization.

The institution announced Dec. 13 that the purchases were made from the coffers of the state, not by using citizens’ private donations for the Diyanet Foundation.

“All the vehicles mentioned in the news report were purchased through tenders conducted by the State Supply Office under the permissions granted by the Law of The Central Government’s 2014 Budget and within the knowledge of the Finance Ministry,” the Diyanet said in a written statement.

Turkey’s top religious office also said that the cost of the luxury car allotted for Görmez is “much lower,” without releasing the actual figure in the official documents…