15:24 GMT28 May 2020
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    President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey may hold a referendum to continue efforts to join the European Union, similar to the Brexit referendum.

    “We will ask the people. We would ask if we should continue talks with the EU, or finish them.” “If the people say — to continue, we will continue,” Turkish Anadolu news agency reported Erdogan as saying.

    Meanwhile, Carnegie Europe fund researcher, Marc Pierini, told AFP that, “If the referendum is held in the present context, the answer will be no, thus it will calm down the current populist trends.”

    According to recent polls, less than half of Turkey's population support the country's accession to the EU, reports AFP.

    Agreement on association between the EU and Turkey was signed in 1963. The application for EU membership was filed by Ankara in 1987.

    The accession negotiations started only in 2005. Since then, the parties agreed on 14 out of 35 technical points that Ankara must fulfill in order to achieve required standards for EU membership. Another 17 points remain blocked with four negotiations currently under debate.

    Negotiations on Turkey's accession to the EU have repeatedly been complicated by disagreements that led to their suspension; with one main obstacle for Turkey, which is its position on the Cyprus issue.

    However, an important step towards the abolition of visas between Turkey and the EU was signed in December 2013 for a readmission agreement (the state agreement to accept its citizens deported from other countries).

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    Tags:
    polls, membership, EU-accession, referendum, AFP, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey
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