November 20, 2016 - Fort Russ News -
RIA Novosti - translated by J. Arnoldski -
Membership in the European Union is not the only option, as Ankara is also considering joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. This was stated by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Ardogan as quoted by the newspaper Sabah.
“Brexit could spread, such voices are being heard in France and Italy. In these circumstances, Turkey must be clam. Why should Turkey not become a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization?”, Erdogan told journalists on his plane while returning to Turkey from a visit to Uzbekistan.
The Turkish president added that he has discussed this question with the presidents of Russia and Kazakhstan. In his opinion, participation in the SCO could give Turkey more freedom of action.
Erdogan also called relations with Russia “good,” although he added that “not everything can happen at once.”
Erdogan also spoke of upcoming contacts on the highest political levels: on December 5th-6th, the Turkish prime minister will pay a visit to Russia, and in the first quarter of 2017, the Russian-Turkish High-Level Cooperation Council will be convene.
Turkey has been holding negotiations on EU membership for many years. In the spring of 2016, EU leaders agreed to intensify negotiations in exchange for Ankara’s agreement to contribute to reducing the flow of migrants to Europe. However, in early November, the European Commission published a report that highlighted serious problems with human rights, freedom of speech, and the rule of law in Turkey. Ankara stated in response that it might put the question of continuing dialogue with the EU to referendum.
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