Turkey to assume term presidency of Shanghai Pact Energy Club for 2017

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The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) heads of state (from L) Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev, Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Russian President Vladimir Putin, China's President Xi Jinping, Uzbekistan’'s President Islam Karimov and Tajikistan's President Emomali Rahmon pose for a family photograph in Tashkent on June 24, 2016 as part of the SCO Heads of State Council meeting.

Turkey will act as the term president of the Energy Club of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a Eurasian political, economic and military organization led by China and Russia, in 2017, being the first country so far to assume such a title as a non-member of the organization.

The SCO Energy Club brings together some of the world largest energy producers and consumers in the same body.

The development came several days after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan again suggested joining the SCO instead of insisting on becoming a member of the European Union.

Speaking to a group of journalists on his return from Central Asia earlier this week, Erdoğan said that Turkey should feel “comfortable” and not “insist on the European Union,” adding that he was merely expressing his own opinion.

“For instance I say why would Turkey not be a part of the Shanghai Five?” Erdoğan asked, stating that he told Russian President Vladimir Putin and other members of the SCO of his idea.

The SCO is a military, political and economic organization founded in 1996 as the Shanghai Five by China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. After the inclusion of Uzbekistan, the pact changed its name to the Shanghai Pact, or SCO.

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