How referednum in Turkey influence country's accession negotiations to the EU?

Author : Felix Schmidt

The referendum in Turkey isanother big step that alienates it from the EU

15:47, 21 April 2017

Read the original text at eurointegration.com.ua.

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According to preliminary results, a slight majority of voters support the changes to the constitution of Turkey. Turks living in Germany helped Erdogan, 63% of them voted "for."

The opposition complains of irregularities in the voting and have appealed to appeal to the Election Commission. However, few believe it will significantly affect the final result. The last word is for the Election Commission, and we can hardly expect it to reconsider its decision.

Related: OSCE says Turkish referendum "fell short of full adherence"

Therefore, the approval of the referendum results probably would remain in effect.

What does the referendum process mean for negotiations of Turkey’s accession to the EU? The referendum in Turkey was another big step that alienates it from the EU.

The EU cannot omit taking into account the criticism of the draft of the new constitution, expressed by the Venice Commission. The referendum was criticized by the OSCE and other observers. Continuing the process of Turkey's accession to the EU is becoming less real.

Related: Great sultan's dictatorship: How Erdogan's referendum will transform Turkey?

Are formal termination or suspension of the negotiations possible?

European Parliament and some national parliaments voiced the position that "it cannot continue anymore" - meaning brutal anti-European rhetoric of President Erdogan during the campaign.

It seems that in this matter the consensus among all parties is becoming stronger.

Perhaps the immediate and complete rupture of relations would not take place, but at least the suspension of negotiations with the EU is likely. Even if the negotiations continue, the ratification of possible outcomes in all Member States is entirely unrealistic.

However, the gap would undermine the interests of Turkey and Europe. Relations with individual EU countries, including Germany and the Netherlands, before the referendum were very tense. In particular, many observers viewed the arrest of the German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yücel as a politically motivated decision.

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Would the situation after the elections be less stressful?

Unfortunately, we must bear in mind that tensions in the near future would not weaken. Immediately after the referendum, President Erdogan said that the next item of his program is to restore the death penalty. Thus, he pre-programmed next major conflict in Europe. There is no reason to count on a quick judgment of Deniz Yücel. Erdogan said that while he remains a president, no one should expect journalist’s release.

Related: State of emergency in Turkey extended until July 2017

NATO is interested in stable allies. However, Turkey is fragmented as never before.

Would anything change in Turkey-NATO relations because of the current situation?

Even considering the requirements to exclude Turkey from NATO, which are heard in some political circles in Europe, this should be expected in the near future. From a political point of view, it would be unwise to deprive ourselves of the possible impact of leverage. Putin would only benefit from it.

Now all parties are very interested in maintaining the capabilities of the defense alliance to promote the achievement of a certain level of stability in the region, which suffers from violence.

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