Turkey looking to export domestic crisis to Greece - Kathimerini

Turkey’s economic downturn and currency crisis are pushing Ankara to hold talks with counterparts in Washington, Berlin and Brussels for new foreign funding, but Greek policy is determined to avoid Ankara’s domestic emergency-motivated measures, Greek newspaper Kathimerini said.

Turkey will be tempted to escalate bilateral tension with Greece in a bid to remove the political pressure from the country’s ailing economy, the newspaper said, citing the expectations of officials in Athens.  

Experts forecast that Turkey is expected to tip into its second recession since 2018 as the country struggles with dwindling FX reserves, relatively high foreign debt obligations and the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. The lira hit a record low of 7.269 against the dollar on May 7.

Three senior Turkish officials were quoted by Reuters on Friday as saying they feared a second currency crisis. Government officials are currently seeking swap agreements with different central banks.

Turkey negotiations with Berlin and Brussels are the reason behind the drop in migrant arrivals across the Aegean, Kathimerini said.

The number of migrants trying to cross the border from Turkey into Greece border has decreased dramatically during the coronavirus crisis, following an influx of thousands to Turkey’s northwestern frontier with Greece in March.

The COVID-19 pandemic also appears to have affected Turkey’s military operations, the newspaper said, citing four Turkish Navy frigates and an oil tanker stationed off Libya’s coast for over a month.