Turkey’s diplomatic drive has coincided with its worst economic crisis in two decades, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and now the war in Ukraine. When compared to a year earlier, energy imports jumped 156 percent to reach $8.4 billion. Turkey’s trade deficit reached $8.24 billion in March, as a result of skyrocketing energy prices. Unemployment stands at 11.2 percent. Geopolitical tensions between Russia and Ukraine are overpowering the government’s plans to support the lira with a substantial current-account surplus in 2022.
The quarterly deficit stood at $26.48 billion, 138 percent wider than the corresponding period a year earlier. Exports surged an estimated 20 percent to reach $22.7 billion, while imports increased 31 percent to reach $30.9 billion. When compared to a year earlier, energy imports jumped 156 percent to reach 4 Together, the losses and high energy prices pushed Turkey’s inflation last month to a two-decade high of over 61 percent. In addition, the national currency, the lira, has plummeted, falling 44% in value against the dollar in 2021.