Nation Makes Final Call on Turkey’s EU Membership: Erdogan

Nation Makes Final Call on Turkey’s EU Membership: Erdogan
Tue Nov 15, 2016 08:59:21

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says a referendum may be held in the country next year over the continuing of membership talks with the EU.

"Let's wait until the end of the year and then go to the people. Let's go to the people since they will make the final call. Even Britain went to the people. Britain said 'let's exit', and they left,” said Erdogan during a televised speech on Monday.

Britons voted to leave the European Union on June 23. The vote called Brexit sent shockwaves throughout the world and prompted the EU members to call on the UK to officially begin the withdrawal process as soon as possible.

He made the remarks after EU foreign ministers censured Turkey over its post July coup crackdown and European Parliament President Martin Schulz (seen below) recently threatening to end Turkey’s EU membership process.

"Who are you? Since when do you have the authority to decide on behalf of Turkey?" he said refereeing to Schulz’s threats.

“How can you, who have not taken Turkey into the EU for 53 years, find the authority to make such a decision?" he added.

During a Sunday exclusive interview with English-language newspaper, Hurriyet Daily News, Erdogan slammed the 28-member EU over “attempts to compel” Ankara to drop its accession bid, while hinting that the continuing of talks with the EU may be decided in a referendum.

Turkey has been attempting to become part of the EU since the 1960s. Formal EU accession negotiations began in 2005. But the process has been mired in problems, and only 16 chapters of the 35-chapter accession procedure have been opened for Ankara so far.

Turkey EU relations further soured after the July 15 botched putsch, which Ankara claims was organized by US-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen.

The July 15 coup in Turkey began when a faction of the military declared it was in control of the country and the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was no more in charge.

Tanks, helicopters, and soldiers clashed with police and people on the streets of Ankara and Istanbul. Between 200 and 300 people were killed on all sides in the attempted coup d’état.

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