Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticised on Thursday the EU’s decision to put Turkey on a political monitoring watch list, Turkish state-owned Anadolu Agency reported.
“We will not allow organisations or countries, especially EU member states, to doubt our democracy or the results of the referendum,” Erdogan said.
On 16 April, Turks voted to expand the powers of the Turkish presidency and abolish the parliamentary system in a referendum, which Europe and the US said may lead the country to authoritarianism.
In a speech marking the 55th anniversary of the establishment of Turkey’s Constitutional Court, Erdogan said:
Turkey proved its will regarding democracy through a referendum without leaving no room for any doubts…Turkey will strictly go ahead with the way it believes the right one.
Erdogan considered the decision of the Council of Europe, one of the EU’s major bodies and which Turkey is an associate of, as “shameful” because the 47-member body did not deal with Turkey equally as it did with other members, giving France as an example which is running presidential elections under a state of emergency.
One of the complaints of the Council of Europe against the Turkish referendum was that it was carried out under a state of emergency.
Commenting on the decision, the Turkish government said in a statement: “Deciding to reopen the monitoring procedure on Turkey…under the guidance of malicious circles at the [Council of Europe] is a disgrace to this organ, which claims to be the cradle of democracy.”
About the EU accession process, Erdogan said:
If they [the EU] are not acting sincerely, we have to find a way out. Why should we wait any longer? We are talking about 54 years…In 54 years, the EU has never kept a promise to Turkey, has never dealt in a genuine, sincere manner.
Erdogan noted that the unfulfilled promises of the EU included the Union’s pledge to give Turkey a total of six billion euros as part of a refugee response deal.
According to Anadolu, the EU contribution stands currently at 725 million euros, as Turkey continues to spend billions of dollars hosting three million Syrian refugees displaced due to the Syrian crisis.
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