Experts say BRICS should review Turkey's inclusion as soon as possible

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 31.07.2018 21:46

It is not possible to develop major economic projects in Central Asia without Turkey, according to Russian political expert Vladimir Bruter.

Bruter added that Ankara's participation in BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) might be interesting for both the alliance and Turkey itself.

Talking to the Russian media on Turkey's suggestion to join the alliance, Bruter said: "Today Turkey is the biggest regional power. For this reason, if President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is really serious about his intentions, the BRICS should review this issue as soon as possible and make a positive decision. But if Turkey intends to keep the neutral observer status for a while, this is the same as demanding an adaptation period to join the BRICS."

After attending the BRICS summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, President Erdoğan told reporters that he suggested Turkey's inclusion in BRICS, coining the term BRICST.

"They responded positively. China is definitely for expansion," he said.

As the term chair of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Turkey was invited to the 10th Leaders' Summit of BRICS countries, which was held in South Africa's financial capital, Johannesburg on July 25-27.

President Erdoğan's participation in the summit was the first high-level official contact between BRICS and Turkey.

All of the other four members of BRICS are fellow members of the G20, he said, adding that he believed BRICS membership would allow Turkey to establish incredibly profitable channels of communications throughout the world.

"I believe we should welcome our inclusion in such groupings," the president added.

Speaking on the sidelines of the summit, President Erdoğan said Turkey sees the BRICS summit as an opportunity to develop collaboration between the two sides. "Turkey wants to work with BRICS countries, especially in the fields of economy, trade, investment and development," he said.

Boris Dolgov, an Arabic and Islamic Research Center faculty member at the Russian Academy of Sciences, has said Ankara's wish to join BRICS could be explained by the interests of Turkey, which foresaw the improvement of economic ties with Russia.

In a statement to Sputnik, Dolgov assessed President Erdoğan's wish to join BRICS. "Turkey already stated its intentions to join the economic associations that includes Russia," he said. "Now a statement about BRICS was made. This is a normal desire of Ankara, as Turkey has good connections with Russia and other BRICS countries."

Recalling that the BRICS countries were not aimed at confronting other economic and political alliances, Dolgov underlined that Turkey's wishes were not related to turning away from the U.S.

"Turkey will remain a U.S. ally. Ankara is not planning to leave NATO either," Dolgov noted. "The issue of participation in the BRICS is mainly related to Turkey's direction of the economy that envisions the development of relations with Russia. So, it is not a new situation. Turkey has economic relations with Russia and the BRICS countries, but it will remain a member of NATO in the military-political sphere."

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