Erdogan pulls a rabbit out of his hat with Black Sea gas find, but is it all it seems?

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is in desperate need of good news. He faces a host of problems at home, including a steadily deteriorating economic situation. The Turkish lira tumbled to a record low last week despite officials’ efforts to prop it up with massive sales of the country’s rapidly dwindling foreign-currency reserves. Economists estimate that the central bank spent $65 billion of its foreign-currency reserves in the first six months of this year to defend the lira, far more than the $40 billion it spent last year, and as of mid-August its remaining reserves were down to just $45.4 billion. Erdogan’s problems are compounded by high unemployment, a resurgent coronavirus pandemic, and breakaway political parties that could eat into his already waning support among conservatives.

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