Erdoğan: Allow us into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

6D31656F-8DDC-4AEE-A8CA-5420D3FF0C82_mw1024_n_sTurkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has again opened up the debate on Turkey’s membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), this time demanding a seat from Russian President Vladimir Putin to saveAnkara from “the troubles” of the EU accession process.

Responding to a question over Ukraine’s recent decision to halt a trade pact with the European Union, Putin said the issue had no political dimension and that they would learn from Turkey’s EU experiences.

“We will ask Turkey what we can do. Turkey has great experience in EU talks,” Putin said at a joint conference with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in St. Petersburg. Erdoğan replied: “You are right. Fifty years of experience is not easy. Allow us into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and save us from this trouble. said to Russian President Vladimir Putin: ‘You tease us, saying, ‘What [is Turkey] doing in the EU?’ Now I tease you: Include us in the Shanghai Five, and we will forget about the EU,’” Erdoğan said at the time. The prime minister’s remarks fueled debates on whether Turkey was moving away from its policy target of EU membership.