Idea of Shanghai membership inconsistent, says main opposition party leader
CASCAIS, Portugal – Anatolia News Agency
Main opposition Republican People’s Party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. AA photo
The Turkish government’s suggestion that it could consider joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is a contradictory and bad idea, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said.
“The proposal to become a member of the SCO is inconsistent and incorrect. We turned our direction to the West, not to the East,” the CHP leader said Feb. 4 in Portugal where he is attending a meeting of the Socialist International.
“This is not something new, since 1071 our goal is [to head] toward the West. We don’t mean geography in saying the West but modernity and civilization,” Kılıçdaroğlu said. 1071 marks the year a Muslim Turkic army first entered Anatolia by defeating a Byzantine army at the Battle of Manzikert in eastern Anatolia.
Referring to the European Union, the main opposition leader said: “We see the EU as a modernization project. Every government, independent from its views and the era which they govern, supports this project.” He also criticized the bloc over its reluctance to embrace Turkey during the negotiation process.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan raised the issue Jan. 25 of possible membership in the SCO, considering it an alternative to the EU at a time when hopes of eventual membership in the bloc are diminishing amid hostility from a number of the union’s members toward Turkey’s accession.