Turkey’s president said that Ankara won’t account for discussions it held at the recent SCO summit.
Turkey is not required to submit a report to the European Union following its participation in the summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organization, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated Monday. Ankara has been expressing interest in joining the bloc which also includes Russia, China, and China, earlier.
Speaking to PBS news outlet, Erdogan was asked to comment on Ankara’s bid to join the organization, given that its members China, Russia and Iran are accused of professing values that apparently differ from those embraced by NATO and the West.
The Turkish leader said he doesn’t want to choose between the East and the West, although he complained that the EU has so far refused to admit Ankara into the bloc.
“The European Union would keep us out for 52 years, it wouldn’t let us near, and then they would say, ‘Why did he talk with this country, or that country?’” he said, referring to the fact that Turkey has been seeking to join the bloc for decades without success.
The EU has accused Ankara, accusing it of violations of human rights and deficiency of the rule of the law. Negotiations have stopped on this topic since 2016. Turkey denies these allegations.
“We are still engaged in negotiations but we won’t be reporting to the European Union.,” Erdogan reiterated, adding that Ankara is willing to hold talks with every country in the world.
The Turkish president noted that he was ready to speak to many leaders, including Chinese leader Xi Jinping, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Russian President Vladimir Putin – even as Moscow conducts its military operation in Ukraine.
Erdogan stated that Turkey wanted to be a member of the bloc at the SCO summit held in Samarkand (Uzbekistan) on Saturday. On the sidelines of the summit, he also met with Putin, who signaled that Moscow was ready “Significantly increase Turkey’s supplies in any direction that is of interest [to the country].”
Both sides agreed to pay 25% in Russian rubles for gas delivery from Russia to Turkey.
The SCO is an economic integration and trust-building alliance that was founded in 2001, and is now the world’s largest regional bloc. Currently, the SCO comprises China, Russia Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan Uzkistan, India Pakistan and most recently Iran. Turkey, along with a number of other countries, is recognized as a special ‘dialogue partner’ of the group.
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