The purpose of the present study is to examine the feasibility of Turkey’s accession to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in response to the EU's procrastination in Turkey’s membership in the European Union. In recent decades, Turkey has done a great deal of work for joining European countries. The formal request of Turkey to join the European Community was presented on April 24, 1987. Turkey's accession to the European Union, on account of some contradictions and conflicts has created special complexities for the parties. A number of analysts consider its specific social and cultural structure as the fundamental barrier for accession Turkey to the European Union and with Turkey's membership, the European Union will not succeed in its identical harmonization process, and it will increase the diversity, variety and differences in the EU. The lack of necessary dynamics in Turkey's political system and society prevents it from acting as a bridge between the East and the West. Therefore, this opposition will exist as long as current variables dominate the political, cultural and social life of the two sides. Shanghai Cooperation organization as a regional organization was established in 2001. The organization, with Russia and China present, is the largest non-Western organization in the Eurasia region. The role of this organization has increased since the beginning of the third millennium in the context of regional and global developments and various analyses have been presented by experts and politicians about its goals, performance and future. Copenhagen's political criterion call for democracy, the full implementation of the rule of law, human rights, labor rights, minority rights, gender equality, participation and pluralism in Turkey. Erdogan not only distanced himself from democratic principles, but also stated that he has shared values with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
Keywords: EU, Turkey, Shanghai Cooperation Organization
The Republic of Turkey, after its establishment in 1923, and when European countries sought to formulate and organize regional after the Second World War, was interested in entry into Western structures, considering their westernizationist nature and approach. In this regard, this country entered the Council of Europe in 1949. In 1952, it became a member of NATO, and in 1959, one year after the formation of the European Economic Community, it was officially nominated for membership in this European structure. Over the past 50 years, since the request for membership of Turkey, this process has seen several changes, among which the important factors of static and dynamic have been affected by this process positively and negatively. Issues such as the military coups in Turkey and the entry of the Turkish army to the island of Cyprus to support the island's Turks have been the main stagnant elements of the process. In addition, the efforts of the Turkish governments to satisfy Europeans, the official confirmation of Turkey's candidacy for entry into the European Union at the summit - such as the entry of Turkey into the Customs Union with the European Union in 1994-1995, the official confirmation of Turkey's candidacy for entry into the European Union The Helsinki Summit in 1999 and finally the official agreement of the Heads of States of the European Union with the official launch of the 2005 membership talks have been the milestones of this process.
Turkey's accession into the European Union, on account of some contradictions and conflicts has created special complexities for the parties. A number of analysts consider its specific social and cultural structure as the fundamental barrier for accession Turkey to the European Union and with Turkey's membership, the European Union will not succeed in its identical harmonization process, and it will increase the diversity, variety and differences in the EU. Other analysts consider the lack of logical link between the level of economic growth in Turkey and the country's general welfare index, as well as its traditional and weak economic structures compared to the EU member states, as the biggest challenge for Turkey to join the European Union that will double the problems of EU.
The European Union as a concert of Western and liberal Christian countries also has serious implications for considering Turkey as an Asian-European Muslim country to the European Union. The European Union has criteria for accepting a new member of the union that are known as Copenhagen criteria. These criteria have created challenges for Turkey to join the Union, which made it difficult. Given these difficulties and obstacles, Turkey's accession to the European Union has always been one of the goals of the politicians of this country. But Turkey has not yet joined the European Union. Meanwhile, the Turkish authorities and public opinion of the country have declared one of their highest goals of joining the union, and the Justice and Development Party, representing the modern Turkish society, has declared this goal nationally and strives to join the union. But at the same time, there is no doubt that Turkey's struggle with Europe cannot depend solely on its geographical location and its mutual benefits for Turkey and Europe. From this perspective, the issue of Turkey's accession to the European Union is beyond mutual security and economic interests and is related to the confrontation between the two worldviews and the two identities.
In the current form, the EU is the result of numerous attempts made over the last half century by European leaders to unify the ancient continent. Perhaps no one in the world can find any country that has given its sovereignty to a single constituency. The union has so far managed to create a single currency and a common, dynamic marketplace in which human resources, goods, services and capital are exchanged easily and freely. In order to achieve such a situation, the union has undergone various stages, which will be discussed briefly. The construction of the European Union is important for two treaties:
The two basic treaties were subsequently amended and revised by the following treaties:
The above documents, while outlining the rights and obligations of European citizens, have laid the foundations for relations between the member states of the Union and the Union's foreign relations. The first move towards European convergence was lifted by the six countries of Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands in 1951 to create a common coal and steel market. It was followed by the end of the Second World War with the aim of securing peace between the victorious and failed countries to encourage them to cooperate more deeply and within the framework of joint institutions. The six countries subsequently created the European Economic Community on the basis of the Common Goods and Services Market. The custom rights were completely removed among the six countries since July 1968 and common policies especially in agricultural and commercial sections were adopted during 1960s. With the appearance of signs of success in the mentioned convergence, Denmark, England and Ireland decided to join the six countries and in 1973, these three countries became the members of European Economic Community. With the mentioned evolution, the European Economic Community decided to offer its regional and social modern policies and for this purpose, “European Regional Development Fund” was established in 1975. In early 1970s, the leaders of European Economic Community perceived the necessity of economic convergence and in this base, the idea of monetary unity of the society considered.
With the accession of Greece (1981) and Spain and Portugal (1986) to the “European society”, the compilation of structural plans such as “Mediterranean unitary plans” was urged with the purpose of reducing the development gap among 12 member countries. Simultaneously, European Economic Community played a role at international scene and signed a set of commercial agreements African, the Caribbean and the Pacific countries. Global economic depression in the early 1980s reinforced the position of “Euro” opponents. But when European commission headed by “Zack the judge” introduced the plan of establishing European unit market until the January 1993, the hope of Europeans increased. The mentioned program was approved and incorporated into the "Treaty of Europe" signed in February 1986 and implemented on July 1, 1987. The political feature of Europe was gradually changed with the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989. This evolution led to the unification of the two eastern and western parts of Germany on October 3, 1990, and fundamental political developments in the countries of Eastern and Central Europe. At the same time, in the "European society" that was evolving, the member states were debating and negotiating a new treaty in December 1991 in Maastricht of Netherlands. The treaty was implemented on November 1, 1993. The "European Economic Community" was renamed "European Society" and then "European Union". Other new goals were also set, including the creation of a "monetary alliance" until 1999, the concept of "European citizenship", new common policies such as "foreign policy and common security" and internal security arrangements.
The present Turkish Republic, created from the Ottoman Empire, is in some respects the heritage of many features of this empire, including authoritarianism. There is no doubt that these features are the result of living in a social, psychological and historical context and cannot easily be abandoned. These characteristics can be considered under the concept of survival policy, especially in countries such as Iran and Turkey, which are located in the sensitive area of the capitalist system. This policy reflects the collective wisdom and has been passed on to the generations.
Turkey’s political structure
Turkish political logic is affected by four major variables:
1. Oriental and Islamic Origins of the Turkish Society;
2. Elitism and government-orientation inherited from the Ottoman;
3. Having historical connections with countries around them;
4. Transnational connections that can be seen in the main slogan of Westernization or accession to the European Union.
The highly elitism Turkish government has been always trying to create a balance among these variables so it can achieve its purpose in this way which is industrialization and westernization. With the passage of time, the components that formed each one of the variables vary greatly until they could highly reduce the Turkish development speed. Unlike European communities in which the above variables become the issues of government and community in the chronological order, in the developing countries including Turkey, these variables appeared together and at the same time, and this fact reduced the strength of elites to achieve their purposes. For instance, when the EU states about ethnic groups in Turkey, it forgets that the European countries themselves faced this very problem and they could achieve national principles only by the implemented adjustments. Valimsky stated, "During the adjustments made in Europe, after World War I and II, twenty million people were displaced" (Ghahramanpour, 2003).
In this way, it can be said that the Turkish political structure faces fundamental paradoxes that are come from the complexity of the interaction of multiple variables. Solving these paradoxes and even managing them requires a lot of time and energy. From this perspective, the European Union can always and for all times make these paradoxes an excuse to refuse full membership of Turkey. For this reason, according to some scholars, the European Union will probably prevent full membership of Turkey in the future by applying political and economic preconditions. Despite the passing of nearly eighty years since the proclamation of republicanism in Turkey, the political rationale in the country has not yet evolved; for example, since the 1940s, Turkey has begun a transition to democracy, it means the was the part of the second wave of democracy, not the third wave But due to military intervention, this transition has been disturbed three times, and Turkey's democracy is now far from advanced democracies. Also the press as the fourth pillar of democracy, it has weakened it in some historical periods rather than consolidating democracy in the country. To understand these paradoxes, it should be noted that the pillars of democracy, such as the press and parties in Turkey, operate within a political system that cannot be changed and evolved significantly. The greatest art of the Turkish elites was that they managed to preserve the secular political system by Atatürk in a turbulent environment and prevent the collapse of the political system. At the same time, their greatest weakness was that they were not able to efficiently manage change in the Turkish society (Yazdan-Fam, 2008).
The Turkish elites in the political system of the country have tried to maintain the logic of politics through understanding and reacting to political developments around them. Given the fact that some scholars reject the change in Turkish foreign policy towards the Middle East after the Persian Gulf War because they believe that one can speak of a change in the existing environment of a new action or on the contrary, the action remains constant, but the environment changes. In other words, when the elites try to adapt their reactions to changes around them, one cannot talk about change. From this perspective, the nature of the Turkish government remains authoritative and is a major obstacle to the development of civil society. However, authoritarianism is one of the main features of Turkish political culture; for example, a 1997 survey found that 71 percent of the people defended the role of the military in supporting democracy. In the case of parties, such paradoxes are also visible. Turkey's coalition governments cannot pursue the necessary economic and political reforms, fearing not to win elections. All this occurs while the plans of the Turkish parties are captured by political leaders (Ghaem Maghami, 2012).
In short, the logic of politics in Turkey, which has been affected by the four major variables, varies greatly with the logic of politics in the European countries. This logic, which focuses on continuity rather than change, is historically a central feature of the late-nineteenth-century European states: the creation of a national identity through the equalization and not to pay attention to the rights of minorities, the sensitivity to territorial sovereignty, the attempt to create an authoritarian government and the democracy driven government from above. The issue of the rights of minority Kurds can also be analyzed (Ghahreman Pour, 2004).
On account of the dominance of policy logic on economy logic in most of the developing countries, the economic problems of these countries have political origins in many of the cases. This matter is also applied for Turkey. Although there is not much hope in the Turkey in the field of policy, the economy field is more hopeful only because of the fact that Ataturk heritage was not so evident and had algorithm poor operation in that. There is a doubt in the extent to which Turkey's political and military leaders are important to external developments and take into account their decision-making, but in the economic sphere, the pressures of the international system have been much stronger and more pronounced. Turkey is ultimately confronted with the capitalist system and its international financial institutions, which considers nationalism and statehood as a serious obstacle to its presence in the country.
The recent economic crises in Turkey can be from one perspective considered as a confirmation to the fact that the development of austerity and a high level of economic development inevitably entail a lack of attention to political development. In other words, political liberalization in the development process from above should consider democratization (the actual involvement of people in public policy-making decisions) in a specific stage; otherwise the society will face certain crises. The government-centric development in Turkey, which had become more visible and coherent over the past two decades with the globalization of the economy, has not led to an economic structure commensurate with the needs of the market economy (free competition and transparency). This is while the Turkish elite hope to move the economic structure of their country to the structure of the market economy by joining the EU (Mousavi and Basiri, 2011).
In this way, it can be said that European countries, as part of the capitalist system, cannot work with the current structure of the Turkish economy and the ruling elites. The structure is heavily influenced by its multi-layered political structure, which the elites are among the main supporters of its preservation. The dramatic economic transformations in Turkey in some historical periods, such as the 1980s and 2000s, were the result of the work of technocrats such as Turgut Özal and Kamal Derviş, who were well acquainted with the interests of the capitalist system and were able to work with it, but giving such confirmations from the military is not a rule but an exception.
Understanding the contradictions between the socio-cultural structures of Turkey and Europe is important because, according to many analysts, the main obstacle to Turkey's accession to the European Union is its socio-cultural structure, that is, despite the fact that official talks on Turkey's joining the European Union is about the political and economic weakness of this country, the major issue behind the the rejections are religious and cultural barriers. Public opinion is often dissatisfied with the enlargement of the European Union, and in particular Turkey is less favored than other candidates (Ghasemi, 2009).
Turkey’s population is equal with the total population of Spain, Portugal and Greece. in case of turkey’s accession to the EU, free labor exchange law will also be included for this country and in this respect, migration of Muslim Turks to Europe will be one of the problems of EU. On the other hand, the Turkish demographic structure is young and full of work force, so if the EU wants to promote Turkey as an average European country with financial assistance, it incurs algorithm heavy cost. Intensification of Islamism in Europe and the threat of western values can also impose much more problems for the EU.
The existing socio-cultural realities of the turkey do not confirm the viewed appearance of the turkey by the elites of this country. Modernization could not eliminate traditional culture supporters and distract the religion, liberal values accepted only by a small of percentage of the people and in general, the community has not westernized. Evolutions in the recent decade, weather globally or inside the turkey led both European and Turkish elites to more realism. One of these fundamental realities is that the presence of Islam in turkey is no wonder; because Islam is one of the components forming the cultural and social tissue of this country. Turkey is historically and culturally a Muslim country and most of the misunderstandings about this country with Islam derived from the lack of elites’ attention to this basic reality. According to Taylor, what the Kemalist elite cannot understand is the fact that Islam in Turkey is more than a doctrine, a personal belief and worship. Islam is an institutional and cultural framework that governs all aspects of the relationships among individuals. Therefore, the consolidation of democracy in Turkey is impossible without regard to Islam.
The result of this part is that, unlike its elites, the Turkish society has structural gaps with most of the European Union member states, and the current logic of politics in Turkey is not moving in the direction of reducing these gaps. If we consider identity, in its simplest form as algorithm definition of society of itself that is manifested in its political, economic and cultural structures, then it can be said that the definition of the Turkish society and its elites is the main factor in the current formulation of politics, economics and culture in this country. This definition has fundamental contradictions with the definition of Western societies and governments. Therefore, at least at national level, the possibility of convergence between Turkey and the EU is very weak and even impossible.
Turkey is a country that has many of its civilizational appearances and infrastructures (such as the religious and cultural structure), as well as a large part of its geography and land is Asian, and there are important and resolved issues (in terms of the EU) for Turkey to join the European Union. Also, opposition from major European countries, especially France and Germany, has added Turkey's challenge to the European Union accession. For example, Nicolas Sarkozy said in his first statement after his victory in the French election: "I cannot imagine that the EU borders will lead to Iran, Syria and Iraq" (East, 2007).
With the arrival of the Erdoğan government in Turkey, the AKP will come up with a new definition of its foreign policy. Based on the new Ottoman thought recently introduced in Turkey, it may become a substitute for "going to the west". Over the past few months, Turkey's increasing role in global transactions and its role in regional crises have led to the thought that the Turks intend to revive the Ottoman Empire and seek to present a new definition of their policies in the international arena.
After the WW2, the Turkish foreign policy was a function of the US both in the area of the Middle East and NATO. In fact, turkey has been the strategic allegiant of America and this trend continued to the present. For more accurate analysis of turkey’s regional policy, three existing attitudes in this country’s foreign policy after the WW2 should be mentioned: first stage, after the WW2 since 1950s until 1990s which was based on non-intervention in regional conflicts. In other words, turkey tried to set itself out of regional crises and play a neutral role. For example, it had not a clear position in Arab-Israel conflict. In the case of Iran-Iraq war, in addition to try to have a continuous and friendly economic and commercial relationship with both Iran and Iraq, it tried to show a neutral role. In this phase, the view of turkey was based on a view that was determined by the west. Since turkey was participated with US in regional coalitions, so the view of turkey’s foreign policy was in that respect. In the second phase, the 1990s, during “Turgut Özal” era, a new stage in Turkish foreign policy and the Middle East was created. In this era, Özal considerable reformed the foreign policy of turkey so he can avoid the traditional Turkish policy which is non-intervention in regional conflicts. Turkey had a difficult transition in that era. So turkey’s participation in Kuwait’s war was in fact its abandonment of the traditional policy and in this stage, turkey practically wants to have a new role in the Middle East and it is the beginning for turkey to grow as a significant player in Middle East conflicts. This attitude governed Turkish foreign policy until 2003. On the other fronts, this country was still the allegiant of the US and had a continuous look at this country. Moreover, in this stage, the EU entered the Turkish foreign policy as a new player. in fact, in that very era, the topic of EU accession suggested.
The subject of turkey’s accession to the EU was suggested in the late 1990s. In that period, turkey was participated in the talks of joining the EU. In this period turkey seeks to have regional role as well. The attitude that invented by Özal and the turkey’s policy is still based on that. The third stage or as the same as Erdogan era is a season which Erdogan seeks for playing a political role and weight as the “active regional player”. Although the problem encountered by turkey in joining the EU is a complicated problem consisted of various factors, it can be stated briefly in the form of a simple equation which consists of 2 fundamental components:
1. The policy of ignoring the facts from the officials of turkey.
2. The policy of secrecy from the officials of EU.
The European officials ignore the fact that the Turkish government is an Islamist government and try to convince the European officials that the Turkish government is secular and European and Turkish political system is secular and liberal. This matter is one of turkey’s major problems in the accession to the EU. For this reason, neither Europe could solve its problems nor could Turkey choose its identity so far (Ojaj, 2004).
It has been 40 years that turkey trying to join the EU, but it stands in the end of the line, while the newcomer countries to the accession negotiations have a better situation. As Samuel Huntington believes: "Poland, Slovenia, Lithuania will rise, but Turkey will not! Because the EU believes it does not belong to their club and perhaps these reasons are cultural”. In Huntington’s opinion, cultural reasons are what prevent turkey to join the EU and this is what “Kohl” has referred to as well. The Christian Europe cannot have a Muslim member, even if its government is laic. In another case, Huntington considered the accession of turkey to the European group as the cause of “the mixture of civilizations” and the source of damage to the purity and uniformity of western values that can disarrange the balance of power to the detriment of the western civilization (Aghazadeh, 2006).
The most important reformations that Erdogan government tries to execute in order to get close to the EU include:
1. Investigating military costs by the Audit Court
2. Equality of rights for men and women
3. Dissolution of State Security Courts
4. Removal of the Army Staff Representative from the Higher Education Council
5. Improving the status of media freedom
6. Acceptance of the legal superiority of international conventions on domestic law
7. Changes in the statute of the Higher Education Organization and the possibility of continuing education of Imam Khatib graduates in universities
8. Accepting the right of the Kurds to broadcast radio and television programs.
The reforms of the Erdogan government, in the event of a final approval, significantly reduces the role of the army, which aims to stabilize its superior position in society, and challenges its extra-legal and supra-governmental role, this reform is part of a larger and more comprehensive whole which aims to democratize the government and achieve EU membership standards.
The issue of globalization caused the international coalitions and institutions to be increased and be more and more important than ever. For this reason, since the late 20th century, many coalitions and organizations have been active and strengthened, and countries express their wishes and interests within the framework of a set of contiguous countries. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is one of these institutions, which is of great significance in the current international system. The capacities of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as well as its capabilities with respect to the membership of two members of the five permanent members of the Security Council in this organization, having more than one-third of the world's population represents the considerable size and economic potential of a promising potential alliance and if the four observer states of Mongolia, Iran, Pakistan and India are also added to the membership, the Shanghai organization with a population of about 2.7 billion people and an area of about half the planet will reach a more important position. This organization is theoretically a very interesting field for study, because today, it is an important debate about the future of the contemporary unipolar world order in the discussion of international relations theory. It is also a good forum for discussing emerging species and new forms of power balance in the early 21st century.
Many analysts of this century are believed to be the century of Asia, and many of the world's equations of power are determined in this region, and therefore the importance of Asia in the future of the international system is increasing, and Asian powers need their place in the new regime between Internationally defined. Therefore, the organization cannot remain in the future as a regional organization because the presence of the two great powers of China and Russia in the current changing world will make the organization as a transnational organization. Even if the initial goals of the leaders of China and Russia were to form the Shanghai Regional Cooperation Organization, the organization has now opened up a great opportunity to exchange views on international issues and global concerns. Within the framework of such institutions, the opportunity to expand trade and mutual investment and the development of industrial and economic cooperation increases. Considering the particular regional and international situation, Iran needs to cooperate in different forms and methods with larger regional and international collections and define some of its demands and interests within that framework.
the extension of global transactions in the framework of international relations, scientific and technologic advancements, the growth of new technologies and the need of the current international system to more participation and transaction necessitates the establishment of organizations for legislation of the relations among the governments. Since the early 20th century on, international organizations have been evolving as the necessity of social life and an important and inseparable part of international system, so that today international organization is a clear phenomenon of the modern governance and is known as a structure that is originated in realities and corresponds with the necessities of international relations. in international relations theories, both role and position of international organizations investigated from different viewpoints. Neorealists defined departments and organizations as tools in the control of great powers. Institutionalists consider international organizations as areas for cooperation in international field and structualists investigated international organizations as players that are active in the propagation of norms in the field of international relations.
First in July 1959, following Greece's request for membership in the European Economic Community, Turkey requested participation in this community. In 1963, Ankara signed the agreement with the European Economic Community and, in 1987, requested full membership. Turkey was officially admitted as a member of the European Union in 1999, and the accession negotiations began in 2005. The EU agreed in March 2016 with the acceleration of membership talks to please Turkey to prevent the flow of refugees to Europe.
However, Turkey's chances of joining the EU after the failed coup of July 2016 are less likely. EU leaders have warned Turkey over violations of basic freedoms that have reached unprecedented levels. Turkey is in a state of emergency after the coup. Thousands of military commanders, judges, academics, teachers, police, and journalists have been arrested or suspended. Erdogan also said he would agree to return the death penalty, which was abolished in 2004. The union warned that the reinstatement of the death penalty would end the prospect of Ankara's membership in the union.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization with the presence of Russia and China is the largest non-Western organization in the Eurasia region. India and Pakistan signed an association agreement with the organization in June 2016 and will fully become officially the member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization since 2017. Mongolia, Iran, Belarus and Afghanistan are members of the supervisory body. Turkey was accepted as a member of the talk in 2012.
But maybe the largest barrier for turkey to join Shanghai Cooperation Organization is that turkey must first leave NATO. Leonid Ivashovonr one of the founders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, said that Turkey should begin the process of withdrawal from NATO because Ankara officials are well aware that there is no perspective of joining a NATO member to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Turkey’s ambition for joining Shanghai Cooperation Organization against the wishes of this country for joining the EU is part of a huge debate on identity. Huntington called turkey “a two parted country” in his famous book “The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order” because the leaders of this country usually tend to seek solutions for coalition with great powers and desire their country to be a member of western community, but Turkey’s history, culture and traditions are non-western (Wang, 2016).
Turkey’s accession to the EU is a prioritized issue with a long history in the area of foreign policy and decision making of this country. Europe is an area where not only its history, culture, and economy have no specific compatibility with turkey, but these two regions have considerable differences. in this base, it is a little too optimistic when we say that the important members of the EU will agree with Turkey’s accession. The negative and humiliating answers of some of European governments like France faced Ankara’s complicated and tough path of joining the EU with new challenges and processes. There are many unsolved problems in the tensions derived from the Islamist identity of the Turks and fundamental cultural differences. The Cyprus issue, the rights of minorities and Kurds, the Armenian-Holocaust issue, the free flow of labor, the policies applied to make the economy more competitive, monetary and financial policies, insurance, the environment, justice and fundamental rights are among the most important problems for Turkey on the way to membership in the European Union.
Also, the most important structural barriers to Turkey's accession to the European Union can be summarized in the deficit of democracy, semi-democratic structure and special legal issues. In addition, the internal structure of Turkey and the different look of the influential forces in its foreign policy are another challenge for Turkey to join the European Union. The Turkish political structure faces major paradoxes, originated in the complexity of the interaction of multiple variables. Solving these paradoxes and even managing them requires a lot of time and energy. From this perspective, the European Union can always and for all times make these paradoxes an excuse to refuse full membership of Turkey. For this reason, the EU will, in the future, also prevent the full membership of Turkey by introducing new political and economic preconditions.
There are also three types of theories about Turkey joining the European Union inside Turkey. A group agrees that they do not separate the history of the Turks from European history and believe that Turkey is part of Europe, and on the other hand, Turkey's accession to the European Union structure has increased democracy and the possibility of opening up its living space and intellectual and political activity. The other group doubts about this. They believe that Europe wants Turkey to absorb its interests. The third group opposes Turkey's accession to the European Union. this group believes that Turkey and the European Union are two distinct civilizational structures: one in the Muslim community of Turkey and the other in the European Christian community, making it very difficult to establish a close relationship between the two civilizations.
Copenhagen's political criteria call for democracy, the full implementation of the rule of law, human rights, labor rights, minority rights, gender equality, participation and pluralism in Turkey. Erdogan not only distanced himself from democratic principles, but also stated that he has shared values with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, also called the "Shanghai Treaty", is an economic security organization that China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are its main members. But perhaps the biggest obstacle to Turkey joining the SCO is that Turkey must first leave NATO.
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