Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 30 / Trend /
Trend Arabic News Service head Rufiz Hafizoglu
The statement of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan calling the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) an alternative to the EU was seen as controversial not only within the country, but also abroad.
In his interview, Erdogan said that the SCO is a stronger organization than the EU.
Following this statement, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that such rhetoric from Turkey, which is a NATO member, is strange, but that Turkey will continue to follow the process.
Some moments remained unnoticed in an interview with the Prime Minister. In an interview with the Turkish Anadolu news agency Erdogan said that during his visit to Russia, he joked with President Vladimir Putin.
"During my visit to Russia I met with Vladimir Putin and jokingly told him: Sometimes you ask, why do we need the EU? If we get into the SCO, we will say good-bye to the European Union," Erdogan said.
Although this was a joke, the words of the man who changed Turkey could not be left without attention. It is for this reason that the leader of the Republican People's Party Kamal Kilicdaroglu said that the Prime Minister's words are noteworthy.
Indeed, if one analyzes the process of Turkey's accession to the EU, it becomes clear that its accession has been delayed year after year.
On the other hand, there is a reason to believe that Turkey is not interested in becoming a EU member and the steps taken towards joining the organization are made in order to become a leading force in the Middle East.
Even Turkish President Abdullah Gul said in 2009 that Turkey may one day withdraw from membership in the EU and follow the path of Norway.
However, Erdogan's words could be perceived as a signal to the EU. The Prime Minister wanted to openly show that a country like Turkey has other alternatives as well.
Given the current economic and political potential of Ankara in the region, the loss of Turkey would be a big mistake for the EU. There is a reason to believe that after these words of Erdogan, the U.S. will increase its concealed pressure on EU to speed up Turkey's accession to the organization.