News / Asia

Turkey Sees Future in Asia With Joining SOC

FILE - Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, April 16, 2013.
FILE - Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, April 16, 2013.
Dorian Jones
Frustrated in its attempt to join the European Union, NATO-member Turkey last week signed up as a partner with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the security bloc dominated by China and Russia that includes the Central Asian states. But, Ankara still has major differences with China and Russia that need to be ironed out.
 
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu described the signing of the SCO cooperation agreement as an historic day for his country, saying Turkey is the first NATO state to establish such a relationship with the SCO.  "If we look from a Cold War perspective," he said, "these may seem like mutually exclusive institutions. However, the Cold War has ended. Turkey won’t be a slave of the Cold War logic."

The United States has questioned whether Turkey can become a member of a security organization besides NATO, like the SCO. But the Turkish foreign minister argues such dual membership is possible now that Moscow and Beijing are no longer considered enemies by NATO.

Semih Idiz, a diplomatic columnist for the Turkish newspaper Taraf, says Ankara is attracted by the SCO because it shares cultural values with several SCO member states.

"Some members are of Turkish origin and one member, Tajikistan, is of Farsi origin, but nevertheless it is Islamic predominantly," said Idiz. "And the fact there are shared cultural values in these groups tends to let people believe that this is a kind of Islamic entity or Turkish Islamic entity."

China, Russia and four Central Asian nations - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan - formed the SCO in 2001 as a regional security bloc to fight threats posed by radical Islam and drug trafficking from neighboring Afghanistan.

Sinan Ulgen, a visiting scholar at the global research group Carnegie Europe, says Ankara’s signing of the cooperation agreement with the SCO is meant to send a message to the European Union.

"They were meant to be read as a warning to EU members that continue to condone obstructionist policies in relation to EU member accession prospects," said Ulgen. "And the second reason is that Turkey wants to demonstrate that [it has] now become not only a regional power, but also a global actor."
 
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has called the delay in Turkey joining the EU "unforgivable" and has accused Brussels of not being a fair or genuine negotiating partner.

Diplomatic columnist Idiz says there are also limitations to how close Turkey's relationship with the SCO can become due to its major differences with two key SCO members - Russia and China.
 
"There are differing interests between Turkey and the key members of SCO, Russia for one. Syria [and Turkey] are diametrically opposed and are accusing each other very silently diplomatically," he said. "Also China, who only two years ago was being accused of perpetrating genocide against Uighur Turks in the Xinjiang province [of China], for example. But they can agree on trade, and I think that will  be the driving force here."

Ankara has said it will continue to develop its relationship with the SCO. How that relationship develops could depend on whether or not its bid to join the EU finds new momentum.

Still, observers say that even if Turkey's dreams of EU membership are shattered, it will likely attract new suitors besides the SCO, given its rapidly growing economy.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Michael F Halasz from: California
May 06, 2013 7:02 PM
"The past is never dead it's not even the past." past literary figure. The Turks originated in Central Asia. They then founded a state in Anatolia. Their conquest of ancient Constantinople catapulted their Ottoman empire into Europe. It looked like they would be masters there but at Vienna they were defeated and cast back to the mideast. Today Erdogan bitterly notes that there will be no entry into let alone mastery of Europe. The answer then:turn face to Central Asia - The Turkish people's homeland.


by: Ogzul from: Turkey
May 06, 2013 5:33 PM
this Turkish Islamic regression is floundering. The Turkish version of the Muslim Brotherhood has destroyed Turkish economy. we have no strength no purpose no direction no plan for the future no industry - everything is sick and stinking decay here

In Response

by: bennu from: istanbul
May 07, 2013 9:57 AM
:) :) """we have no strength no purpose no direction no plan for the future no industry""" you re living in Mars or just trolling here??

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid