Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been the leader of Turkey for two decades, was recently re-elected. He now faces many challenges, including a severe economic crisis, a diplomatic dispute with NATO over Sweden’s bid to join the alliance, rebuilding after a devastating earthquake, and reconciling with neighboring Syria.
One of the biggest problems is inflation. Prices are rising quickly, making it hard for people to afford basic necessities. Erdogan has tried to lower inflation by cutting interest rates, but this has not worked. The value of the lira has also fallen, making it harder for people to buy things.
There is also a diplomatic dispute with NATO over Sweden’s bid to join the alliance. Turkey has blocked the bid because it wants the extradition of Turkish figures suspected of links to outlawed Kurdish militants. NATO foreign ministers will meet soon to discuss this issue.
Another challenge is rebuilding after an earthquake that killed over 50,000 people and caused widespread damage. The cost of the damage is more than $100 billion, and many people are still living in temporary accommodation.
Finally, Erdogan must reconcile with Syria after supporting opposition forces who tried to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad during the country’s civil war. Erdogan has attempted to mend ties, but Assad has demanded that Turkish forces be withdrawn from rebel-held parts of northern Syria. Turkey also seeks to return the more than three million Syrian refugees who have fled to Turkey during the conflict.