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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