By Michaël Tanchum
July 18, 2023
The persistence of high food inflation in Turkey belies a deeper problem. Turkish agrifood production cannot adequately cope with increasing water scarcity due to climate change. Challenging Turkey’s own food security, the growing crisis also threatens Turkey’s role as a food supplier to Europe and the Middle East. Regional food supply chain breakdowns due to a decline in Turkish production would create a debilitating economic impact on both regions. Advanced agri-tech solutions can mitigate these problems, presenting an opportunity for Ankara to create a new area of strategic cooperation between Turkey and its Western and Middle Eastern partners.
By John Daly (vol. 7, no. 16 of the Turkey Analyst)
As armed conflict ravages Syria and Iraq, Turkey risks adding to the social and political tensions to its south by cutting the water flow of the Euphrates, which originates in southeastern Turkey and is Western Asia’s longest river, to downstream states. Compounding Iraqi misery, the Islamic State (IS) has been using water as a weapon of war. As unrest continues to roil the Fertile Crescent, whether water is used as a tool of inconsiderate state policy or a weapon of war, the suffering of civilians and farmers has dire political consequences. What is certain is that Turkey’s ambitious GAP program is adding to the misery of the downstream populations.
The Turkey Analyst is a publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Joint Center, designed to bring authoritative analysis and news on the rapidly developing domestic and foreign policy issues in Turkey. It includes topical analysis, as well as a summary of the Turkish media debate.