The Turkish main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader has slammed the prime minister for turning his back on the European Union and declaring his bid to join an Asian cooperation body Today`s Zaman reported.
Kemal Kılıcdaroglu harshly criticized Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his remarks in a televised interview in which he said Turkey would abandon its bid to accede to the 27-member club if the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) decides to accept Turkey as its member.
Kılıcdaroglu lauded Turkey's decades-long determination to turn its face toward the West and Europe and warned against breaking ties with the European bloc. The CHP leader claimed that Turkey is facing deep-running problems such as a poor human rights record and lack of freedom of press and that without Brussels, Ankara won't be advised to fix its problems.
Speaking to reporters during a televised program aired on Kanal 24 late on Friday, Erdogan said Turkey is now seeking alternative options amid eroding hopes in the EU process with regards to the adamant opposition to Turkey's membership by a number of EU member countries.
The SCO is a mutual-security organization which was founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The other countries, with the exception of Uzbekistan, had been members of the Shanghai Five, founded in 1996; after the inclusion of Uzbekistan in 2001, the members renamed the organization.