14:41 GMT +317 December 2017
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    Recep Tayyip Erdogan and  Angela Merkel

    Turkey Could Join SCO as Alternative to EU Membership

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    Former member of the Turkish Parliament and political expert Dr. Oya Akgonenc Mugisuddin told Sputnik Turkey that Ankara has various alternatives to membership in the EU. Cooperation with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and subsequent integration into the bloc looks like the most favorable option for Ankara, the expert argued.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that it is impossible at the moment to open a new chapter of EU-accession negotiations with Turkey. She made a corresponding statement during a meeting with other members of her CDU party earlier this week.

    "We are currently seeing an increase in tensions between Turkey and the EU," the expert told Sputnik Turkey. "EU countries started discussions about whether the European Union needs Turkey."

    In November, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling to end the negotiations with Turkey on its accession to the EU. With her statement Merkel principally backed this resolution.

    In response to the recent developments, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that his country has "a lot of other options" if the stalled negotiations with the EU won't bring any results.

    "The European Union is not the only alternative for us. Yes, Turkey has been trying to become an EU member for years, and so far it has become a candidate for membership in this organization. There were negotiations. However, there must be mutual interest in such negotiations. The EU doesn't treat us as equals and puts forward unacceptable conditions," Mugisuddin said.

    According to the expert, one of the most realistic and favorable alternatives for Ankara could be cooperation with the SCO and Turkey's further integration into this Eurasian organization.

    "In such circumstances, the expansion of cooperation with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is a very attractive alternative for Turkey. Turkey is very serious about the SCO. Ankara understands that the ‘Shanghai Five' have a great future. At the same time, it is clear that every international institution has its own rules, its pros and cons. All this must be carefully weighed," Mugisuddin concluded.

    Earlier this week, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara is considering joining the six-member bloc including Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Turkey now has a dialogue partner status in the organization.

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