By Burcu Arik
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that Turkey may have a Brexit-style referendum on whether to continue European Union membership process or not after the April 16 constitutional referendum.
Speaking during the Turkish-British Tatlidil Forum in southern Antalya province, Erdogan said Turkey would likely review its ties with the bloc after its April 16 referendum on sweeping constitutional changes.
"You [Britain] have made a decision with Brexit, there may be different things after April 16."
"We have a referendum on April 16. After it, we may hold a Brexit-like referendum on the [EU] negotiations. No matter what our nation decides, we will obey it," Erdogan said.
In June 2016, more than half of British voters voted in favor of ending the U.K.’s 46-year long membership.
Turkey applied for membership of the EU in 1987; accession talks began in 2005.
However, negotiations hit a stalemate in 2007 because of Turkey’s position on the Cyprus issue. Also, the German and French governments opposed the country’s full EU membership.
Criticism of EU states
Erdogan also said the European Union had turned into a playground of fascist political parties, criticizing the Swiss government over terrorist organization PKK sympathizers' rally targeting the Turkish president in Bern.
"Here is the Swiss Parliament, extreme terrorist organizations put my photo there - pay attention, it is the parliament - with a gun on my head."
"There is no such an understanding. How does something like that happen? It is Switzerland. There are many like it," Erdogan said.
On Saturday, supporters of the terrorist PKK, DHKP-C, YPG took part in a rally in front of the Federal Parliament building, located in Parliament Square in Bern, targeting Turkey and President Erdogan.
The Swiss police did not intervene against the banner, which had a photo of Erdogan, a gun pointed to his head and said "Kill Erdogan" on it.
The Swiss Green Party also supported the rally, which was attended by approximately 250 PKK supporters who shouted slogans against Turkey and Erdogan.
Erdogan said the European politicians should leave their "bad manners" towards Turkey as soon as possible.
"It must be known that there is a limit to [Turkey's] patience with the attitude that European countries show us," Erdogan added.
His comments come amid acrimonious relations between Turkey and Europe, particularly Germany and the Netherlands.
Ankara has heavily criticized European states after the authorities in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands banned some campaign rallies ahead of Turkey’s April 16 referendum on sweeping constitutional changes.
President Erdogan compared the bans with Nazi-era practices and also accused European governments of taking sides in Turkey’s referendum by favoring the No campaign.
The constitutional changes have been discussed since Erdogan was voted
The reforms would hand wide-ranging executive powers to the president and the post of prime minister would be abolished. The president would also be allowed to retain ties to a political party.
Other changes would see the minimum age for parliamentary candidates reduced to 18 and the number of deputies