Speaking at the TRT World Forum, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also reiterated the call for serious reform of the United Nations Security Council, which he said should have representation from countries on all the world’s continents.
A referendum on accession to the European Union may suit Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday.
Speaking at the closing session of theTRT World Forum in Istanbul, President Erdogan said he would discuss taking such a step with colleagues.
“It is 2018, and they are still keeping us waiting,” he said.
“It is for us to go to 81 million people and see what decision the 81 million people give,” he said, referring to Turkey’s electorate.
After Turkey’s accession talks began in 2005, they stalled in 2007 due to objections from the Greek Cypriot administration on the divided island of Cyprus, as well as opposition from Germany and France.
In recent years, referendums have given Turkish voters a say on such weighty issues as direct election of the president and changing Turkey’s government system.
To gain EU membership, Turkey must successfully conclude negotiations on 35 policy chapters that involve reforms and the adoption of European standards.
As of May 2016, a total of 16 chapters had been opened and one concluded. However, in December 2016, the member states said no new chapters would be opened.
Asked whether the EU project is nearing its end, Erdogan said: “I also see those signs.”
Erdogan reiterated the call for serious reform of the United Nations Security Council, which he said should have representation from countries on all the world’s continents.
“We need to achieve a United Nations Security Council with participation from seven continents.”
The Turkish president has long advocated reforming the structure of the Security Council, using the motto, “The world is bigger than five.”
“The era of five permanent members [on the UNSC] is over,” he said, arguing that the present arrangement comes from “the circumstances of World War II.”
But he said, “We are not living under the same circumstances. It is time to make a new transition and a new change [at the UN].”
The UN has yet to respond to the quest for justice, he said.
“The UN needs serious reform,” he added.
The UN has yet to respond to the quest for justice, the Turkish president said, citing as an example UN inaction on the Palestinian issue.
“Is the Palestinian issue resolvable?” he asked rhetorically.
“Why not? Because there are many decisions taken against Israel at the UN, but none of them is implementable.”
UN resolutions condemning unjust actions by Israel have frequently faced vetoes in the Security Council.
“US arming terror groups in Syria”
In his speech, the president also accused the US of sending 19,000 truckloads of weapons and ammunition to terrorist groups in Syria.
Turkey has repeatedly objected to US support for the terrorist PKK/PYD in Syria, which has included supplying arms and equipment.