ISTANBUL: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey should not be “fixated” on joining the EU and has reiterated the idea of joining Russia and China in a Eurasian security group, local media reported on Sunday.
“Some may criticise me but I express my opinion. For example, I say ‘why shouldn’t Turkey be in the Shanghai 5?,” he said. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) — also called the Shanghai Pact — is a loose security and economic bloc led by Russia and China.
Erdogan has several times floated plans for Turkey to join the SCO, a move that could scupper its long-standing EU membership bid. The SOC option became clouded, though, when a Russian warplane was downed by the Turkish air force last November.