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An interesting story in last Friday’s International New York Times (6 March 2015) headed ‘ Turkey’s leader takes no risk with food’ It revealed that President Erdogan is having his food tested before he eats, not by human testers – Pharaohs, Roman Emperors, Popes, Kings etc – but in a lab with five experts analysing his meals for any suspicious substances.According to the newspaper: ‘Mr. Erdogan’s physician, Cevet Erdol revealed this week that a least one of the thousand rooms in the president’s extravagant $600 million palace in Ankara, will hold a special food analysis laboratory to test the president’s meals for radio-active materials, poison or certain types of bacteria that could be used in an assassination attempt.’

He went on to explain that five on-site experts were on duty for 14 hours a day not only looking for doggy food, but to make sure that he gets all his nutritional needs. Food samples were also sent to labs in other cities to be checked.

Of course nearly all world leaders take precautions and Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey was known to have a food taster. And Turkey’s eighth president, Turgut Ozal was rumoured to have been poisoned in 1993, although the official cause of death was a heart attack.

Meanwhile President Erdogan and guests can dine safely in his palace, one of the world’s largest executive pads and more than 30 times as large as the White House!