Syria (KurdPress) – Will US rethink plans for Raqqa? In May 2016, we asked how long the United States and Turkey could keep up appearances of alliance and partnership in Syria, given differences over US backing for the Syrian Kurdish People’s…
Austria wants the European Union to freeze membership talks with Turkey over Ankara’s massive crackdown following the failed coup.
Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said Monday that the EU “must at least freeze the accession negotiations.”
He said “it is wrong to continue accession negotiations as if nothing negative has happened in Turkey in the last few months.”
Few EU states support Austria’s stance.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on November 20 that Turkey did not need to join the European Union «at all costs». Instead, it could become part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), or Shanghai Pact. The Turkish leader said he had already discussed the idea with Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev.
The SCO is a Eurasian political, economic, and military organization founded in 2001 in Shanghai. Its members are Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan speak Turkic languages.
India and Pakistan are to become full-fledged members by the next meeting at Astana in 2017. Mongolia, India, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan are SCO observers. In 2013, Turkey got the status of SCO’s «dialogue partner». The other country with the same status is Belarus. Dialogue partners are entitled to take part in ministerial-level and some other meetings of the SCO, but do not have voting rights.
The failed July 15 coup attempt in Turkey has given way to a massive state investigation, thousands of arbitrary arrests and a slew of dismissals in the state sector, mainly from military and educational institutions.
The coup attempt was described by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as “a gift from Allah” to help cleanse state institutions of supporters of Fethullah Gulen, the Turkish Islamic cleric and former Erdogan ally the government accuses of plotting the coup from his point of exile in the United States.