Erdogan says Turkey will review EU ties after April referendum

Reuters , Thursday 23 Mar 2017

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech during a meeting of the members of Balkan Federation on March 23, 2017 at the Bestepe National Congress and Culture Center in Ankara (Photo: AFP)

Turkey will review all political and administrative ties with the European Union after an April referendum, including a deal to curb illegal migration, but will maintain economic relations with the bloc, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday.

In an interview with broadcaster CNN Turk, Erdogan said everything "from A to Z" in Turkey's relations with Europe would be reviewed after the April 16 referendum on constitutional changes that would extend his powers.

Turkey's relations with the European Union have become particularly strained after two member states canceled planned campaign rallies on their territory by Turkish officials seeking to drum up support for a "yes" vote.

Germany and the Netherlands cited security concerns for their decision, but Erdogan has accused them of using "Nazi methods" and of trampling on free speech. He made no apology on Thursday for his use of the Nazi comparison.

"You get disturbed when we say it is fascism, its Nazism, but what you are doing fits in that definition," he said.

Erdogan said European countries were allowing events for the "no" campaign while banning Turkish officials from rallying his supporters. He accused Germany of supporting terrorism and said he had no plans to visit the country before the referendum, contrary to some recent media reports.

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