Erdogan: Turkey wants to join Shanghai Group


Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin

Russia and China are the main members of the Shanghai Group


(Photo: dpa)

Istanbul Of the Nato-Country Turkey wants president Recep Tayyip Erdogan according to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), whose largest members China and Russia are. According to Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency, Erdogan said on Saturday after the organization's summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, that Turkey wanted to attend the group's meeting next year India discuss the purpose of membership.

Turkey has "historical and cultural" connections to the Asian continent and wants to play a role in the organization, whose members together make up "30 percent of global economic output," Erdogan said.

Turkey is currently listed as a dialogue partner by the Shanghai organization. In the event of accession, Turkey would be the first member of the group, which is also part of the Western Defense Alliance Nato belongs.

Established in 2001 to fight terrorism, the group includes China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Iran, which, like Belarus and Mongolia, previously had observer status, was also admitted to the most recent summit. The process for the admission of Belarus, which is considered the “last dictatorship in Europe”, also began.

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Erdogan accuses NATO and the EU, where Turkey has had candidate status since 1999 without making any significant progress, of a lack of support for Turkey. Turkey and Russia, in turn, have common interests and good relations in some areas - although Ankara condemns Moscow's attack on Ukraine. Turkey recently tried to mediate between the warring parties, for example on the issue of Ukrainian grain exports across the Black Sea.

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