Erdogan urges European Union to cooperate, or lose Turkey's membership bid

03 May, 2017, 01:46 | Author: Essie Rivera

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday rejoined the Turkish ruling party after a almost three-year absence, in the first major change to come into effect following the referendum victory on expanding his powers.

"Today, I return to the party I founded", Erdogan said after rejoining the AKP at a ceremony held for official registration of the president at the party headquarters in capital Ankara with participation of hundreds of party officials.

"Erdogan attaches as much importance to controlling his party as he does the new presidential system", Unluhisarcikli said.

"The leader of a party can not be the president of 80 million (Turkish citizens)", Kilicdaroglu said.

Earlier, party's member Yasin Aktay said that the party's executive committee made a decision to hold an extraordinary congress on May 21.

On April 16, a narrowly won a referendum for constitutional changes granted executive powers to Erdogan with just over 51 percent of the vote.

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"There is no option other than opening chapters that you have not opened until now", Erdoğan said, referring to the individual policy areas that need to be concluded before Turkey joins the EU.

His comments on Tuesday came days after the European Union stated that Turkey must provide clearer signals on whether it intends to meet the entrance criteria in such areas as human rights and rule of law.

Critics fears the change will lead to a one-man authoritarian rule with too few checks and balances. "If you do not open them: Goodbye".

Sixteen chapters have been opened out of a total of 35 since accession talks began in October 2005, although Turkey's bid to be a part of the bloc dates back to the 1960s.

"You (Europe) will keep your promises". Then we will sit at the able and talk. "Otherwise, we have nothing left to discuss with you", Erdoğan said. The change will allow him to lead the party outright.

On Saturday, President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani said that Turkey's position on a number of internal issues, such as debates on capital punishment and the arrests of journalists, was unacceptable, but expressed hope that the situation would change, and affirming Brussels "would not shut the door for Turkey".

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