For much of 2020, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan relied on foreign-policy adventurism to divert attention from Turkey’s economic crisis and his AK Party’s political travails. His aggressive forays in Libya, Nagorno-Karabakh and the Eastern Mediterranean helped overshadow the political reversals of the previous year, when the AKP lost local elections in major cities — none more embarrassing than that of Erdogan’s old stronghold of Istanbul — and a significant decline in membership.

But the strategy may have reached its limits: Neither investors nor the general public seem to be buying Erdogan’s promise of a new economic era. More generally, the president and his party seem to be losing the confidence of large political constituencies, including urbanites and young conservatives.

Now, with the coronavirus pandemic proving more resilient than expected, and hopes for a smart economic rebound in 2021 crumbling, Turkey’s opposition parties are gunning to regain the initiative. Erdogan may ignore their calls for early general elections — they are scheduled for the summer of 2023 — but he can expect his political rivals to press him every step of the way.