Turkey summons Swiss envoy over anti-Erdogan protest in Bern - Anadolu

27 March, 2017, 00:09 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Turkish officials are not campaigning in Europe deputy PM says

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country might hold a referendum on whether it should continue to pursue membership in the European Union.

At a rally earlier Saturday, Erdogan lashed out at the critics who claimed Turkey would not be allowed into the European Union if the referendum passed, saying it would "make our job easier" if Europe made that call and adding "Turkey is no one's whipping boy".

"You [Britain] have made a decision with Brexit".

"Right now, we are holding a [constitutional] referendum on April 16", Erdogan told a forum in the southern city of Antalya. "No matter what our nation decides, we will obey it", Erdogan said, as quoted by Turkish Anadolu news agency.

In June 2016, more than half of British voters voted in favor of ending the UK's 46-year long 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.

Switzerland has not blocked the campaign events, but Cavusoglu did call off a visit earlier this month after the hotel he had booked for a rally refused to host it, and another Turkish politician was forced to change locations several times for a separate rally.

Swiss prosecutors said Friday they had opened an investigation into alleged spying on members of the Turkish community in Switzerland by an unspecified "intelligence service".

In Bern, police did not disperse people who chanted "dictator Erdogan", "terrorist Erdogan" slogans during the protest which was also supported by the country's Green Party. The 18-article bill was passed by parliament in January, with 339 votes in favor - nine more than needed to put the proposal to a referendum.

He also informed that in May he will meet with US President Donald Trump. Simultaneous parliamentary and presidential elections for a five-year term would be held in November 2019 under the new constitution.

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