SABAH DAILY NEWS November 20, 2016
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said that it was time for Turkey to openly think about alternatives to the European Union, suggesting the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the economic, political and military organization that counts China, Russia and the central Asian republics among its members, as a perfectly plausible substitute. While Pakistan and India are also currently in the process of becoming full members, Turkey is a dialogue partner. Turkey has more options than tying its entire future to the EU, President Erdoğan said, speaking to journalists at the end of his official tour of Pakistan and Uzbekistan. "I mentioned my desire for Turkey to become part of the SCO with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and [Kazakhstan President Nulsultan] Nazarbayev. Iran also wants to get in. Putin said it was under consideration. I believe if Turkey became a member, its room for maneuver will broaden considerably," he stated.