The EU Cools On Turkey After Referendum

Nick Mcbride
April 18, 2017

The campaign to change Turkey from a parliamentary to a presidential system of governance, headed by Mr Erdogan and the AK Party he co-founded, argued that the change would bring stability and security to the country.

According to the Turkish Constitution, a state of emergency can be declared for a maximum period of six months.

The result laid bare the deep divide between the urban middle classes who see their future as part of a European mainstream and the pious rural poor who favour Erdogan's strong hand.

Turkey's longstanding bid for European Union membership was already in doubt and could be dropped for good if Erdogan follows through on suggestions to reintroduce the death penalty, which he reiterated after the referendum win.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Erdogan he should have a "respectful dialogue" with the other parties following the narrow result, a tone was echoed by outgoing French President Francois Hollande.

"The legal framework, which is focused on elections, remained inadequate for the holding of a genuinely democratic referendum", the monitors said in a joint statement.

They also said a Turkish electoral board decision to allow as valid ballots that did not bear official stamps undermined important safeguards against fraud.

He made the comments at news conference in Ankara. Turkey should not distance itself further from Europe, also in its own interest'.

He vowed Turkey's recent incursion into northern Syria would not be its last such venture in the region, saying it would carry out as many military operations as necessary, wherever necessary, in its fight against terrorism.

Erdogan rejected criticism, warning foreign election observers to "know their place".

The main secularist opposition People's Republican Party said it was still unclear how many votes were affected.

"If the referendum is approved by majority vote, the office of prime minister would be abolished after the next elections, scheduled for 2019".

The new model increases the clout of the presidency just eight months after a coup attempt aimed at toppling Erdogan's government.

German integration commissioner Aydan Ozoguz warned against criticising Turks living in Germany across the board over how they voted, telling regional newspaper Saarbruecker Zeitung that only around 14 percent of all German Turks living in Germany had voted "Yes" and added that most migrants had not voted.

During the campaign, Erdogan repeatedly attacked European countries, including Germany and the Netherlands, accusing them of "Nazi-like" tactics for banning his ministers from speaking to rallies of Turkish voters overseas.

Other reports by VgToday

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