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Turkey’s growing frustration with its stalled EU membership negotiations is driving the country to seek closer ties with BRICS

Turkey has turned to the BRICS group of major emerging nations, which includes Russia and China, reflecting its increasing frustration over the stalled progress in EU membership talks.

“We have established relations and are engaging in talks and negotiations with the BRICS countries, which are also undergoing significant changes,” Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan stated in an interview with Haberturk television on Monday night. “If the EU had the will to take a step forward, our perspective on certain issues could be different.”

While Ankara has sought to revive its bid to join the EU, one of its largest trading partners, it is also pursuing new alliances to bolster its $1 trillion economy.

BRICS, composed of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, expanded at the beginning of 2024 with the addition of Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia, and Egypt. Other countries are also planning to join or are considering invitations to the group.

Although Turkey has long been a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and part of Europe’s defense system, it has faced numerous obstacles in its EU accession talks since they began in 2005, including criticisms from the bloc regarding its democratic practices.

“There is a military alliance within NATO, but an economic alliance has not materialized,” Fidan commented on the EU. “Thus, our search for alternatives continues.”

Fidan’s comments seemed aimed at encouraging the EU to expedite negotiations with Turkey, which is navigating a complex geopolitical landscape.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has previously shown interest in joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, founded by Russia and China as a counterbalance to NATO, and is set to attend the security bloc’s meeting in Kazakhstan next week.

Fidan also mentioned that Turkey might apply for an upgraded dialogue partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. He highlighted that BRICS countries are developing a lending system and conduct trade in local currencies, an approach Turkey also supports.

“The unique and admirable aspect of BRICS compared to the EU is its inclusion of all civilizations and races,” Fidan remarked. “If it can become more institutionalized, it will yield significant benefits.”

di Il Quotidiano Online

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