The COVID-19 pandemic significantly affected the standing and popularity of major economies around the world. None of the top three major economies handled the pandemic well. China, as the epicenter of the pandemic and its failure to inform the world about it; the EU, as the second epicenter of the pandemic and its failure to help member countries; and the United States, as the third epicenter of the outbreak and its failure to contain the crisis, all lost credibility.
Hagia Sophia’s conversion into a mosque sparked a debate over President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s political agenda. Some observers believe that the administration has a to-do list yet to be completed. That claim boils down to the idea of Turkey’s gradual Islamization. Western media outlets, too, amplified that message by speculating that Erdoğan undid Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s legacy and revived the Ottoman Empire to bring back the caliphate. Others, out of excitement or sorrow over Hagia Sophia’s reopening, jumped on that bandwagon.
One of the most important outcomes of the COVID-19 crisis will be its impact on U.S.-China relations, according to many scholars and experts. The already-strained relations between the two countries may be up for an even more challenging period in the second half of this year.