Turkey opens Ottoman skyscraper in New York that towers over UN building

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan opened a skyscraper rich in symbolism from the Ottoman Empire in the US city of New York on Monday, overshadowing the United Nations headquarters across the street.

The Turkevi, or Turkish House, will serve as home to Turkey’s permanent mission to the UN and its consulate general in New York, as well as to provide diplomatic housing.

It was constructed on the site of the previous, smaller building, bought from IBM in 1977.

The 171-metre tall building, which cost around $300 million, was designed by Turkish planners who made sure that it would exceed the height of the neighbouring United Nations Plaza, which houses the US permanent mission to the UN.

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the 36-storey tower, Erdogan said the Turkevi is symbolic of Turkey’s “increasing power”.

“We have reunited with the Turkish House, which contains motifs inspired by the Seljuk era and the tulip, which has an exceptional place in our culture,” said Erdogan, who was in New York for the UN General Assembly.

“God willing, the building will serve for a long time as a symbol of Turkey’s success stories,” he said.

Source: The New Arab

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