Germany’s governing coalition reacted to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s stated desire for membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a political, economic and security organisation led by Russia and China.
The foreign policy spokesperson of the German federal government, Greens lawmaker Jürgen Trittin, called for tough sanctions against NATO ally Turkey.
“NATO and the European Union should ask themselves how long they will let Erdoğan toy with them,” Trittin told the Welt newspaper.
Trittin noted that Turkey had prevented NATO from pursuing the UN arms embargo on Libya and put a brake on Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership process.
He also decried Turkey’s drilling activities in Greece’s exclusive economic zone and said Erdoğan’s government had been trying “harder than China” to circumvent Europe’s sanctions against Russia after Moscow’s Ukraine invasion triggered a far-reaching embargo from Western countries.
“Now it wants to join the SCO with Iran,” said the prominent German Greens deputy, adding, “It is time for a more robust Turkey policy.”
Since no state can be excluded from NATO, coercive economic measures should be taken against Turkey instead, Trittin said.
The foreign policy spokesperson of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) parliamentary group, Nils Schmid, said Erdoğan’s plan to join the SCO could be a further venture to divert attention from domestic political problems.
“In terms of foreign policy, this is another symbolic step that shows Turkey moving away from the West and its values,” said Nils Schmid, and added that he sees this attempt as a serious mistake for Turkey’s future.