Turkey’s official inflation statistics suggest that the rate is near 70 percent, although many within Turkey suggest the real number is much higher, particularly for food. Some are questioning whether this will lead to a breakdown in Erdogans power, similar to the last economic crisis that brought him into power two decades ago.
For his cooperation as a member of NATO however, the Biden administration is handing carrots to Erdogan in the form of an arms sale. Biden has asked congress to approve the sale of missiles, and electronic equipment including radars for its existing fleet of F-16s, although Turkey reportedly has asked to buy an entirely new fleet of 40 units of the jet.
Turkey was originally part of the F-35 development program but was removed, ironically also over Russian issues, when the NATO member purchased Russian S-400 SAM systems which the US suggested might provide intelligence to Russia. Turkey for its part blames the US, saying the purchase of the S-400 systems came only after US rejections to sell its Patriot systems to Turkey, while the US claims that Turkey’s purchase and implementation of the Russian systems instead precluded its purchase of Patriots.