Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that his country should not be “fixated” on joining the European Union would should also explore the option of joining the Eurasian Shanghai Pact, a security and economic bloc including Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
“Turkey should first of all feel relaxed about the EU and not be fixated” about its membership, Recep Tayyip Erdogan was cited in Sunday media reports as saying, as Ankara continues to rile up Brussels with its EU-unfriendly moves.
Turkey to their frustration have been trying to join the EU since the 1960’s but have proven to find it difficult to join for a variety of reasons, including its illegal occupation of northern Cyprus, an island-nation that is also an EU member.
Erdogan has already entertained the idea with Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev.
“Some may criticize me but I express my opinion,” Erdgoan added, explaining on why the country should not put too much emphasis on EU membership.
“For example, I say ‘why shouldn’t Turkey be in the Shanghai 5?,” he asked.
“I hope that if there is a positive development there, I think if Turkey were to join the Shanghai Five, it will enable it to act with much greater ease,” added the Turkish head of state.