Turkey: Brics instead of EU?

Turkey wants to join the Brics economic community, Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said during his visit to China last week - the first by a high-ranking Turkish politician in 12 years. Fidan is now due to travel to a meeting of Brics foreign ministers in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, on Tuesday. Commentators examine what this means for relations between Ankara and Brussels.

Open/close all quotes
T24 (TR) /

Ankara doesn't know what it wants

Fidan's statements don't really fit in with the pro-EU statements of other members of the government, T24 columnist Mehmet Yılmaz notes with surprise:

“At a think tank meeting, Finance Minister Mehmet Şimşek said: 'The EU is an engine of change for Central and Eastern Europe. A comprehensive transformation is easier when you have an anchor, a set of standards and a source of inspiration, and that's why we need the EU' ... At the same time, Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan says that the Brics community is a 'good alternative to the EU'. ... So are we now pushing for EU membership or are we looking for a good alternative? There seems to be a lot of confusion.”

Diena (LV) /

The West should take heed

Diena comments on Fidan's announcement:

“Only time will tell what Turkey's real plans are regarding Brics membership. Nevertheless, the fact that such a desire has been expressed clearly shows what Western countries are trying to ignore. Namely that Brics and other non-Western organisations are steadily gaining influence at the global level, making them increasingly attractive not only to the countries of the Global South, but also to countries close to the West. An ostrich policy in this context will only increase this appeal.”