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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid