Europe’s Exposure to Turkey’s Problems

Turkey's economy is struggling, and that's cause for concern in some European capitals.

For well over a year, Turkey has been projecting an image of itself that is out of sync with the reality at home. It invaded northern Syria, again, in October 2019; deployed troops to intervene in Libya’s civil war in January 2020; threw its weight decisively behind Azerbaijan in that country’s brief war with Armenia in fall 2020; and had naval standoffs in the Mediterranean with both France (June 2020) and Greece (multiple times, including in August 2020 and January 2021). But behind the curtain is an economy that was grappling with double-digit inflation and a falling currency even before the coronavirus pandemic started wreaking havoc. The Turkish economy is one of the region’s largest, and a default or severe crisis could spread to other major economies, particularly in Europe. Though the exposure of EU economies is manageable, the risk is one more thing for Brussels and EU capitals to worry about at a time when they cannot afford more adversity. Turkey’s Value – and Its Debt Ankara’s recent aggressive foreign policy has frequently had it butting heads with EU members Greece and Cyprus, but in general Turkey remains an important strategic partner for the European Union in the Middle […]

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