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Massive earthquake cost to deepen Turkey’s economic woes

The disaster response requires a significant increase in public spending to meet the needs of 13.5 million affected people and rebuild massive destruction, threatening to widen Ankara’s budget deficit.
This aerial view shows collapsed buildings during the ongoing rescue operation in Hatay, southeastern Turkey, on Feb. 10, 2023.
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With its economy already fragile, Turkey now braces for a widening budget deficit, fresh inflationary pressures and a blow to its gross domestic product (GDP) after a pair of massive earthquakes devastated vast areas in the country’s southeast. 

The disaster struck in the lead-up to the May 14 elections, turning up the pressure on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who faces the toughest yet re-election race in his two-decade rule. With annual inflation running at nearly 58%, Erdogan had hoped to deliver some economic relief to an electorate exasperated by skyrocketing prices before the crucial polls.

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