The Turkish President keeps subjecting NATO to new stress tests. Erdogan is now topping his blockade threats for northern expansion once again: Two traffic light foreign politicians are demanding sanctions against Ankara because of his plans to join the Russian-Chinese Shanghai Group.
In the traffic light coalition there are calls for tough consequences for NATO member Turkey after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seeks membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) around Russia and China. "NATO and the European Union must ask themselves how long they will let Erdogan dance around on their noses," said the foreign policy spokesman for the Greens in the Bundestag, Jürgen Trittin, to the newspaper "Welt".
"Turkey is preventing NATO from monitoring the UN arms embargo on Libya. It is drilling in Greece's economic zone. NATO member Turkey is doing more to circumvent Europe's sanctions on Russia than China. Erdogan is putting the brakes on Finland and Sweden joining NATO. And now he wants to join the SCO together with Iran." It was time for a "more robust Turkey policy." Since no one can be excluded from NATO, economic coercive measures against Turkey must be considered.
Nils Schmid, foreign policy spokesman for the SPD parliamentary group, sees Erdogan's plan as a serious mistake and as a renewed attempt to distract from domestic political difficulties. "In terms of foreign policy, this would be another symbolic step away from the West and its values - a serious political mistake for Turkey's future."
The NATO member Turkey is already a so-called "dialogue partner" of the SCO. In addition to China and Russia, the group also includes India, Pakistan, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Russian President Vladimir Putin called for the SCO to become a global opponent of the West.
At the SCO summit on Friday, China's President Xi Jinping called on member states to help each other fend off attempts by foreign powers to support so-called color revolutions. This term refers to uprisings in particular in former communist countries. Russia, for example, had repeatedly blamed foreign forces for this.