Erdogan says Turkey wants to join the Shanghai Organization, a forum made up mostly of Asian autocracies

Erdogan said Saturday that Turkey wants to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a forum of mostly Asian autocracies. The Turkish leader made the statement despite his country being a NATO member and a candidate for EU membership.

“Of course. This is the goal,” Erdogan said, referring to Turkey’s possible accession to the SCO. “We came here as special guests at the invitation of our host country, Uzbekistan. “Now, the next process is a step to a more advanced level,” Erdogan said Reuters.

“Being a member is different from not being a member, and this move will take our relations with these countries to a very different level,” he added.

Despite being a NATO member and a candidate for joining the European Union, Turkey, under Erdogan’s leadership, began to move away from the West and toward the East, especially toward Russia and China.

EU membership stalled after Turkey began retreating into rule of law and democracy – Since coming to power, Erdogan has consolidated his power, silenced the press and opposition, and transformed the Turkish state into a hybrid regime. And the Turkish leader also drew the ire of US allies after deciding to buy anti-missile systems from Putin, even though Turkey is a member of NATO.

The Shanghai Organization includes China, Russia, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan.

Author: Adrian Dumitru

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