Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz commented on the outcome of the referendum in Turkey to say that this country has clearly decided against the EU.
“Although the vote was narrowly in favor of amending the Constitution, this means that Turkey is increasingly moving away from the rule of law and democracy. The outcome of the vote is a clear signal against the EU,” Kurz, who also currently chairs the OSCE, said in a statement for the APA agency.
He said he now expected a clear response of the EU, adding that honesty is needed at last in the relationship between the EU and Turkey.
The time of tactics, according to him, has passed – and the minister now hopes for a change among those in the EU who are still in favor of Turkey’s accession.
He reiterated his request to suspend EU accession talks with Ankara.
“Turkey cannot become an EU member,” said Kurz, adding that the fiction of possible membership should be terminated. Instead, as he pointed out, it is necessary to reach “a neighborhood agreement” with Turkey.
Those who voted against changing the Constitution would be provided with “support and solidarity,” the Austrian minister said.
Unofficial results on Monday showed that Turkish voters approved changes to their country’s Constitution giving President Tayyip Erdogan “sweeping new powers,” Reuters reported earlier in the day.
The “yes” campaign won 1.25 million more votes than the “no” campaign, the election commission announced. According to these unofficial results, 51,34 percent voted in favor, while 48,66 percent were against.
The commission’s decision to consider unstamped ballots “valid unless they were proved to be fraudulent” raises questions about the validity of the vote, said opponents of the constitutional changes.