Leaders of member states of the European Union have been cautious about the results of the referendum in Turkey. No EU leader sent the traditional congratulations message to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his victory so far. They are reportedly awaiting for the independent report of Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on alleged voting irregularities, especially after Turkish opposition parties shouted foul play and fraud.
In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel, in a joint statement with Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, warned that the “tight referendum result shows how deeply divided Turkish society is and that means a big responsibility for the Turkish leadership and for President Erdogan personally”.
Julia Klöckner, a leading voice in Angela Merkel’s German CDU party said the door to EU accession was “well and truly shut” and called for billions of euros in contributions to finance Turkey’s bid to stop.
Elmar Brok, the German head of the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee, said the result did not legitimise a complete overhaul of the state.
Austria‘s Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said the result was a “clear signal against the European Union”. The “fiction” of Turkey’s bid to join the bloc must be ended, he said.
The European Commission urged Turkey to seek “the broadest possible consensus” in implementing changes. It pointed to “alleged irregularities” in the vote and said it was awaiting the assessment of international observers.
European Commission statement issued April 16, 2017
President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn issued the following statement today:
“We take note of the reported results of the referendum in Turkey on the amendments to the Constitution, adopted by the Turkish Grand National Assembly on 21 January 2017.
We are awaiting the assessment of the OSCE/ODIHR International Observation Mission, also with regard to alleged irregularities.
The constitutional amendments, and especially their practical implementation, will be assessed in light of Turkey’s obligations as a European Union candidate country and as a member of the Council of Europe.
We encourage Turkey to address the Council of Europe’s concerns and recommendations, including with regards to the State of Emergency. In view of the close referendum result and the far-reaching implications of the constitutional amendments, we also call on the Turkish authorities to seek the broadest possible national consensus in their implementation.”
Greece that became also Erdogan’s target during the campaign keeps a stand-by attitude. Government sources said that Athens “supports stability and democracy in Turkey”. the sources added that the Greek government follows with great attention and interest the developments in the neighboring country and the referendum results.