Skip to main content

Are Turks Being Shanghaied?

Turks may wonder what is the rationale for Turkey joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), given its membership in NATO and bid for EU membership.
Honour guards walk out from behind a curtain, before the start of an official welcoming ceremony for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing June 7, 2012. REUTERS/David Gray (CHINA - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR3382O

After waiting for two years, Turkey finally became a dialogue partner of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) last week, thus moving a step closer to fulfilling a desire by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to one day becoming a full member of what is predominantly a security bloc — that some argue is not only a counterbalance to NATO but also provides Ankara with an alternative to its stalled European Union membership bid.

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu hailed the development as a “historic day,” adding, "With this choice, Turkey is declaring that our destiny is the same as the destiny of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization countries." He was speaking in Almaty, the commercial capital of Kazakhstan, during a joint press conference with SCO Secretary-General Dmitry Mezentsev on April 26, after signing the memorandum of understanding making Turkey’s dialogue partnership official.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.