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Published: Mon, March 27, 2017
World | By Tasha Manning

Erdogan 'to review European Union ties after referendum'

Erdogan 'to review European Union ties after referendum'

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that Turkey may have a Brexit-style referendum on whether to continue European Union membership process after the April 16 constitutional referendum.

Erdogan is looking to the large number of Turks living in Europe, especially in Germany and the Netherlands, to help secure victory next month ( 16 April) in a referendum that would give him a range of new powers allowing him to appoint ministers, prepare the budget, choose the majority of senior judges and enact certain laws by decree.

A Turkish news agency quoted Turkish President Erdogan as saying, "You [Britain] have made a decision with Brexit". After this, we may hold a Brexit-like referendum on the [EU] negotiations.

In June 2016, more than half of British voters voted in favour of ending Britain's 46-year-long European Union membership.

The negotiation process for Turkey joining the European Union began in 2005, but has been at a standstill for years, and the vote is likely to be a choice between pursuing membership or abandoning the plans to become a part of Europe.

The country will vote on whether to move from a parliamentary to a presidential system of government. "It is Switzerland. There are many like it", Erdogan said.

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He also harshly criticized a rally in Switzerland on Saturday where hundreds of pro-Kurdish supporters gathered in front of the Swiss parliament, carrying anti-Erdogan banners.

Referring to the poster of him with a gun pointed to his head, Erdogan said: "Could there be such a mentality, such an understanding?"

Erdogan said the European politicians should leave their "bad manners" towards Turkey as soon as possible.

"It must be known that there is a limit to [Turkey's] patience with the attitude that European countries show us", Erdogan said.

Under the proposed far-reaching changes to the executive branch of government that will be voted on next month, the power to appoint and dismiss government ministers would become the purview of the president rather than the prime minister.

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