‘Crusaders don’t want Turkey in EU’ claims Erdogan

Turkey's President Erdogan speaks at a referendum rally in Ankara, 2 April 2017.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday once again likened European countries to Crusaders and claimed his country is not wanted in the EU.

Speaking at a rally to draw support for constitutional reform in Ankara, the president said, “All the EU leaders went to the Vatican and docilely listened to the Pope. Do you know why they won’t accept Turkey into the EU? It is solely because [the EU] is a Crusaders’ Union.”

Erdogan added that the 16 April constitutional referendum would be the day when ties would be up for re-evaluation.

“They [EU] have lied to us for 14 years. And they continue lying,” he said.

The president also reiterated that he would bring back the death penalty in the event of a ‘Yes’ vote. The 18-article reform package foresees sweeping executive powers for the president and the possibility of staying in power until 2029.