Europe

Erdogan: Turkey might hold referendum on EU membership

  • Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters in Antalya, Turkey, Saturday, March 25, 2017. Erdogan on Friday has hit out at the head of Germany's intelligence service for comments suggesting that Berlin was not convinced over U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen's role in Turkey's failed coup. Erdogan accused the BND foreign intelligence chief Bruno Kahl of making the remarks on behalf of Germany's leaders, whom he said backed Gulen's movement.(Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Press Service, Pool Photo via AP)

    Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters in Antalya, Turkey, Saturday, March 25, 2017. Erdogan on Friday has hit out at the head of Germany's intelligence service for comments suggesting that Berlin was not convinced over U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen's role in Turkey's failed coup. Erdogan accused the BND foreign intelligence chief Bruno Kahl of making the remarks on behalf of Germany's leaders, whom he said backed Gulen's movement.(Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Press Service, Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters in Antalya, Turkey, Saturday, March 25, 2017. Erdogan on Friday has hit out at the head of Germany's intelligence service for comments suggesting that Berlin was not convinced over U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen's role in Turkey's failed coup. Erdogan accused the BND foreign intelligence chief Bruno Kahl of making the remarks on behalf of Germany's leaders, whom he said backed Gulen's movement.(Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Press Service, Pool Photo via AP)

    Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters in Antalya, Turkey, Saturday, March 25, 2017. Erdogan on Friday has hit out at the head of Germany's intelligence service for comments suggesting that Berlin was not convinced over U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen's role in Turkey's failed coup. Erdogan accused the BND foreign intelligence chief Bruno Kahl of making the remarks on behalf of Germany's leaders, whom he said backed Gulen's movement.(Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Press Service, Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Turkey's president says the country might pursue a Brexit-like referendum on whether to pursue European Union membership.

Speaking Saturday at a Turkish-U.K. forum in the southern city of Antalya, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the proposal as tensions are escalating between Ankara and European governments ahead of an April 16 referendum to expand the powers of the Turkish presidency.

Bringing up Brexit — the British departure from the EU — Erdogan said a similar referendum "might" be held after the April 16 vote, adding that he would respect whatever the people decided.

At a rally earlier Saturday, Erdogan lashed out those who claimed Turkey would not be let into the EU if the referendum passed.

He says "Turkey is no one's whipping boy."