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

Hezbollah Chief Says Does Not Want War But Ready for One

VOA's Jerusalem correspondent reports that with an Israeli election looming and Hezbollah's involvement in Syria, neither side appears interested in a wider conflict More

Multimedia VOA SPECIAL REPORT: Despite Danger, Best US Minds Battle Deadly Virus

Scientists at America's premier biological research center race in military confinement to find effective drugs, speedier tests and a safe vaccine amid the deadliest outbreak of Ebola in history More

Kurdish Poet Battles to Defend Language, Culture

Kawa Nemir's work is an example of what he sees as an irreversible cultural and political assertiveness among Kurds in Turkey 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.
Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unresti
X
Heather Murdock
January 30, 2015 8:00 PM
Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Mobile Infrared Scanners May Help Homeowners Save Energy

Mobile photo scanners have been successfully employed for navigational purposes, such as Google Maps. Now, a group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says the same technology could help homeowners better insulate their houses and save some money. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid