Turkey president vows referendum for EU membership bid

Ankara, Nov 14 (IANS) Turkey could hold a Brexit-like referendum next year on whether to continue membership talks with the EU, Turkish President Erdogan said on Monday.

Erdogan slammed European Parliament President Martin Schulz for his remarks that the EU could impose sanctions on Turkey following its anti-terror arrests, Xinhua news agency reported.

Erdogan cited calls from some EU members states to stop membership negotiations with Turkey and Schulz saying “You are even too late. Make up your mind immediately”.

“We will be patient until the end of the year, and then go to public vote. Final decision shall be made by the nation. Let’s ask the nation,” he stated.

If Turkish parliament passes a law on reinstating death penalty, he would approve it, the president said.

Meanwhile, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus also slammed Schulz for signalling that the EU could impose sanctions on Turkey following its anti-terror arrests.

“It is impossible to understand Schulz’s threatening remarks,” he said.

He blasted the recent EU Progress Report on Turkey for being “biased” and “not friendly”.

Kurtulmus said that Turkey rejects the report, which was released last week, and includes the July 15 failed coup attempt and the follow-up arrests.

Turkey is under fierce critic by EU over its post-coup attempts measures including thousands of purges and detentions on opponents and alleged plotters, including pro-Kurdish MPs.