Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey may hold referendum for EU accession

March 26, 2017 2:08 pm

Turkish President
delivers a speech during a meeting of the members
of Balkan Federation on March 23, 2017 at the Bestepe National Congress
and Culture Center in Ankara. (Photos by AFP)

Turkish
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says a second referendum may be held
after the April constitutional reforms vote over the continuing of EU
accession talks.

“Right
now we are holding a referendum on April 16 and after that we could
choose to do a second one on the [EU] accession talks and we would abide
by whatever our people would say there,” said Erdogan during
Turkish-British Tatlıdil Forum held in Antalya on Saturday.

is set hold a referendum on the constitutional amendments, including
giving executive powers to the president, currently a ceremonial post,
and abolishing the office of the prime minister.
The
country applied for membership in the European Union in 1987, and began
formal accession negotiations in 2005. Since then the talks have made
little progress over Turkey’s human rights track record.

“You
[Britain] have made a decision with Brexit, there may be different
things after April 16,” said Erdogan in reference to a June 2016
referendum in the UK in which voters supported the country’s exit from
the EU.  
Earlier in the day, he stated that it would be “easier” if the EU just rejected Turkey’s bid to join the bloc.  
“What?
If a ‘yes’ comes out on April 16, they would not take us into the
European Union? Oh, If only they could give this decision! They would
make our work easier,” he said while addressing a rally.
Erdogan
also condemned a recent terror attack near the Houses of Parliament in
London in which four people were killed and around 50 more injured.

A
person walks past a campaign poster of Turkey’s upcoming referendum,
reading “Yes” in Turkish, on the facade of a building in Rotterdam on
March 25, 2017. 

“This
attack is the latest example of terror having no boundaries, no
principles, no morals. It is very noteworthy that the parliament was
targeted and it has similarities with the July 15 coup attempt, in which
our parliament was bombed,” he said.
On
Wednesday, an assailant plowed a car into pedestrians and stabbed a
police officer near the British Parliament, in an attack which has been
declared a terrorist incident. The attacker was also shot dead by the
police.  
Erdogan added that
terrorism will eventually lose, and that Ankara clearly and openly
stands by Britain in its battle against terror.  

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