Erdogan: Turkey could hold vote on pursuing EU membership

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, left, accompanied by his wife Emine, centre, shakes hands with Jordan's Queen Rania, right, at a conference in Istanbul, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018. (Presidential Press Service via AP, Pool)

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has again suggested that Turkey could decide in a referendum whether to continue pursuing membership in the European Union.

Speaking at an international forum on Thursday, Erdogan said Turkey and the EU had a lot to contribute to each other. But he criticized the 28-nation bloc for keeping Turkey waiting at its gates.

Erdogan said: “But if this goes on like this, with this mentality . this is a headline for tomorrow’s papers . our duty is probably to go to the 81 million (people in Turkey) and see what the 81 million decide.”

Turkey began membership negotiations in 2005 but talks have made little progress due to, among other things, Turkish shortfalls in human rights and the rule of law.

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