European Affairs · Political Theory · Russian Affairs

Turkish Shanghai Cooperation Organization Initiation May Be Complicated By Article Eight Of NATO Treaty

Recently RT reported that Turkey is mulling joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. This is in response to the, what Turkey sees, as an attenuated process for accession into the European Union. President Erdogan, who is a key NATO ally has voiced his concern for years privately, by some accounts, and now recently openly challenging European leaders whom he feels are threatening his countries  eventual EU accession. For their part the EU has voiced concerns over Turkey’s recent crackdown on political dissidents in his own country after a failed attempted coup over the summer. The ramifications of Turkeys bid to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization are huge, and could be felt immediately. Under Article Eight(8) of the NATO charter any country which is a member of NATO must “undertake not to enter into any international engagement in conflict with this Treaty.” And since the stated purpose of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is to be a “Political, Economic, and Military Organization”, and since the SCO is dominated by Russia, and China; then it would make since for the United States, or any of the European member states to invoke Article Eight(8) of the NATO charter with the express intent of making clear to Turkey that such a move would be seen as complicity with the enemies; some implicitly, other explicitly, of NATO. It should be noted that the NATO charter also allows for a grace period of one(1) year prior to the ceasing of relations between NATO, and future non-NATO members, in Article Thirteen(13), by giving a “Notice of Denunciation” to the United States of America.

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