Erdoğan targets joining Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, media reports say

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said that he was targeting membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) for Turkey.

Photo: AA


President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he was targeting membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) for NATO-member Turkey, broadcaster NTV and other media said on Sept. 17.

He was speaking to reporters after attending the SCO summit in Uzbekistan before heading to the United States.

"Our relations with these countries will be moved to a much different position with this step," Erdoğan said.

When asked if he meant membership of the SCO, he said, "Of course, that's the target."

Turkey is currently a dialogue partner of the SCO, whose members are China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

Amid bilateral discussions at the summit, Erdogan had talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Erdoğan said Turkey and Russia had reached a deal resolving a dispute over a nuclear power plant being built at Akkuyu in southern Turkey.

NTV reported Erdoğan as saying that the Turkish contractor IC Ictas had been reinstated in the project, confirming comments by two sources to Reuters on Sept. 16.

Last month, the Russian state nuclear energy company Rosatom, which is running the project, terminated its contract with IC Ictas over what it called "numerous violations".

"God willing we will be able to finish and inaugurate the first (Akkuyu) unit in 2023," Erdoğan added.