Where is Turkey in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization? – Last Minute World News

Ahmet Yesiltepe/Analysis news

Although it seems to have limited room for action as a NATO member country, due to new conditions and changing dynamics, Turkey felt the need to review its capacity in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced Turkey’s interest in the organization during his visit to Kazakhstan in early 2005. Over the years, this interest has turned into the pursuit of concrete cooperation.

Finally, Erdogan said that during his meeting with Vladimir Putin on July 18, 2012 in Moscow, he conveyed his thoughts on the subject as follows; “You tease us from time to time,” I told Putin. You say what are you doing in the EU… Then let me tease you now. Come on, include us in the Shanghai Five and let’s review the EU, I made a joke to him.”


While this statement brought to mind the question “Is Turkey going to change its axis”, Erdogan once again put an end to the heated debates: “To be very clear and sincere, there is no such thing as forgetting or losing the EU process for us. We think that he should have a place at every table in line with his interests.”

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“We think that Turkey should have a place at every table in line with its interests,” said President Erdogan.

At the Dushanbe Summit in 2008, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization established a new mechanism called “Dialogue Partnership Status” in order to establish an institutional framework for relations with third countries and international organizations that want to contact the organization and are not observers.

This status would allow third countries that do not have observer status to have “limited cooperation” with the Organization in certain areas.

In terms of the degree of institutional bond; It was below the “observer country” status and above the “guest participants” status.

This mechanism came to the fore as an appropriate choice to strengthen Turkey’s relations with the organization. Thus, Turkey joined the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as a Dialogue Partner in 2012.

Evaluating the post-accession decision, Chinese academics and Russian analysts stated that this decision was a revolution for both the organization and Turkey.

Could the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which is gaining strength in the center of the Turkic World, be an option for Turkey, or do the “structural problems” condemn this option as a mere discourse?

Recently, it is understood that there has been a demand among the members of the organization for Turkey to become an “Observer Country”.


According to some experts, the relations that Turkey will develop with the organization; to increase cooperation with the member countries of the organization with historical and cultural ties in areas such as security, economy, trade, energy and culture; It will be a move in your own interest.

However, experts defending the opposite view; They state that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization should not be an alternative to Turkey’s decades-long relations with Euro-Atlantic institutions, especially NATO and the EU. He emphasizes that the close contact here will be perceived as an axis shift and; They draw attention to the danger of losing Turkey’s main trading partner, the West.

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Recently, it is understood that there has been a demand among the members of the organization for Turkey to become an “Observer Country”.

Turkey’s exports to Shanghai Cooperation Organization members; 6 percent of total exports and imports from these countries constitute 25.7 percent of total imports.

Turkey had a foreign trade deficit of approximately 45 billion dollars against the Shanghai Cooperation Organization member countries in 2015; This deficit is equivalent to 70 and half of the total foreign trade deficit of the same year.

On the other hand, the share of exports to European Union member countries in Turkey’s total exports is 44 and a half percent.

The share of imports from European Union member countries in Turkey’s total imports is 38 percent.

The figures show that Turkey’s intensive exchanges and gains with the West on the economic plane are much higher than that of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

For these reasons, it is not realistic for Turkey, which gives the appearance of a full military integration with the West in the context of economy, trade and NATO, to open up on a new axis.

But in the words of the President; Presence in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization may be a “window of opportunity that needs to be evaluated” in order to regulate relations in favor of Turkey.

Looking at this balance of interests and their calculations, it is known that Turkey’s membership in the Organization is seriously considered.


There are two main geopolitical axes in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Russia and China.

Central Asian countries and India seem closer to the Russian axis, while Pakistan and Iran seem closer to the Chinese axis.

It is said that against Iran’s full membership process, which is supported by China, Russia may invite Turkey to ensure the balance of power within the organization.

According to some experts, members of the Organization, who care about Turkey’s economic, political and military power, are very excited about a Turkey that will take their place in their ranks.