Calamos Supports Greece
GreekReporter.comGreek NewsDiplomacyNATO's Turkey Wants to Join Anti-Western Group Led by Russia, China

NATO’s Turkey Wants to Join Anti-Western Group Led by Russia, China

Turkey Russia China
Turkish President Erdogan meets his Russian counterpart Putin at the SCO summit last week. Credit: Turkish Presidency

NATO member Turkey recently signaled its intention to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a regional grouping led by Russia and China. Iran has also applied to join the group.

“Our relations with these countries will be moved to a much different position with this step,” Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said to reporters at the SCO summit that was held in the ancient Silk Route city of Samarkand on September 16th.

“Of course [membership], that’s the target,” Erdogan stressed as he met the leaders of China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

Speaking to reporters, Erdogan said Turkey took part in this year’s SCO summit as a dialogue partner but might take a further step in the 2023 summit in India as it “targets” membership in this body.

“Since its establishment, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation has covered serious distances in the fields of security, economy, and trade, and has continued to expand within this framework,” he added.

He highlighted the decisive role played by the Asian continent in the global economy, saying Turkey is firm in further developing its cooperation with continental countries at bilateral and multilateral levels.

Turkey Russia China
The leaders of the SCO. Credit: Turkish Presidency

Is Turkey joining an anti-western front with China and Russia?

Turkish social media was full of posts portraying Turkey’s President meeting with Russia’s leader as well as speaking with other authoritarian leaders at the SCO summit.

Western security analysts tend to refute the geostrategic significance of the SCO and rightly downplay its potential as a direct military competitor to NATO.

Nevertheless, Turkey’s cozying up to the SCO should ring some alarm bells in Europe and the United States, says an analysis by the research think tank German Marshall Fund.

The SCO began life as the ‘Shanghai Five’ (China, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan)—an informal gathering to deal with border security issues between China and its post-Soviet neighbors. In June 2001, the founding members took the decision to transform the group into a formal organization, with a focus on fighting terrorism and religious extremism.

With the successive enlargement of the organization, the topics it addressed extended to infrastructure and economic development, turning it into a forum for political exchange between Russia, China, and their common neighbors in central and southern Asia.

Now, members of the organization—four of which are nuclear powers—represent forty-four percent of the world’s population.

Related: Russia Sends Billions to Turkey for Nuclear Plant Construction

See all the latest news from Greece and the world at Contact our newsroom to report an update or send your story, photos and videos. Follow GR on Google News and subscribe here to our daily email!

Related Posts