|By Cha già José from Vienna, Austria (Mercedes-Benz S500) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons|
The religious clerics have it pretty sweet there too. Not only do they get to advise the government about banning naughty bits in biology text books and call out lip-o-suction whenever they see it, they also get gifted shiny new cars!
Mehmet Gormez, the head of Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate, known as Diyanet in Turkish, will soon be cruising in a Mercedes s500, worth some 350,000 euros ($435,000), the Hurriyet newspaper reported Saturday.Gomez was totally cool with the press divulging his four-wheeled indulgence because he got a really good deal on it -- using public funds.
Diyanet did not deny the reports, but said in a statement that the cars had been bought through state tenders and the cost was less than estimated by the press.Things are not quite as nice for the senior officials of this government-funded religious body, but they still get flashy new foreign cars.
Diyanet, whose budget is funded by taxpayers, bought another 14 Toyota cars for its senior officials, the newspaper said, noting that they previously rode in the more modest Renault Symbol.Apparently, Gomez has even nicer wheels than the Pope, who was driven in a Renault Symbol, which vaguely resembles a K-Car to me.
People apparently took to Twitter to denounce this extravagance as not Muslim. That might be the case, but it seems to me like, inside Turkey at least, what's Muslim or not is likely to be determined by the guy behind the wheel of this flashy new automobile.