Is China going to buy up crisis-hit Turkey? The question sounds startling at first, but when a journalist begins hearing discussions revolving around this theme at almost every roundtable, panel or seminar on international relations he attends, looking for an answer to the question becomes a professional duty.
Indeed, the question is not unfounded. Turkey is going through a deepening economic crisis marked by rising unemployment and inflation, a growing external debt burden and a highly volatile Turkish lira. On top of it, Turkey’s problems with the United States and the European Union are worsening, and the country is drifting away from the West. China, on the other hand, is the world’s second-biggest economic power and seeks to revive the ancient Silk Road through its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative; in this context, it takes interest in the region where Turkey sits while boasting an extraordinary increase in capital exports and a foreign trade surplus — which means an abundance of money.