In Turkey, a Battle Over Infrastructure Could Shape the Next Presidential Race

Foreign Policy | Jan 16, 2020 at 3:33 AM
  • ISTANBUL—The debate over the Istanbul Canal infrastructure project has the potential to turn into an existential one between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu.
  • In a shaky economy with a 14 percent unemployment rate, increasing taxes, and no fiscal room for maneuver, Erdogan will have to convince an increasingly environmentally aware Turkish public that resources should indeed be allocated to this project now.
  • In a nationwide survey conducted in December 2019 by Istanbul Economy Research, a polling firm, 49 percent of the public did not agree with the statement that the project will generate new sources of revenue.