Erdogan reveals Turkey’s latest goal

Ankara seeks to formally join Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Turkish president says

Turkey wants to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday. The remark came after the group’s summit ended in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Erdogan attended this year’s event as a special guest.

“Our relations with these countries will be moved to a much different position with this step,” Erdogan told reporters aboard his plane. Asked whether Turkey officially wanted to join the group, the president replied in the affirmative. “Of course, that’s the goal” he said.

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Kremlin explains purpose of world’s largest regional bloc

The SCO is an economic integration and confidence-building alliance that was founded in 2001 and is now the largest regional bloc in the world. Currently, the SCO brings together China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan.

There are also four observer states – Afghanistan, Mongolia, Belarus and Iran – seeking to become full members of the bloc, with the latter two countries having already started the membership process.

Turkey, alongside Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal and Sri Lanka, is currently recognized as a special “dialogue partner” of the group. The SCO also launched the process of granting such status to Egypt, Qatar and Saudi Arabia in September 2021.


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