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Czech News in English » News » National » PM Sobotka: Turkey is moving away from EU

PM Sobotka: Turkey is moving away from EU

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Prague, April 18 (CTK) – Turkey is moving away from the EU and a secular state is weakening there, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka told reporters on Tuesday, commenting on the result of the Sunday referendum in which most Turks supported the strengthening of the president’s powers.

However, the referendum will not have an immediate impact on Czech-Turkish relations, Sobotka added.

“The referendum has shown that Turkish society is fundamentally divided. It also shows that Turkey keeps moving away from the European Union and European values. I am afraid that a secular state, which in my opinion has guaranteed the democratic functioning of Turkey to a high extent, is further being weakened. So these pieces of news are not quite positive,” said Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD).

“The referendum’s result will not influence relations between the Czech Republic and Turkey immediately. However, from a long-term perspective, we can observe that any other step that President (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan is promoting in politics is pushing Turkey away from Europe as one whole,” Sobotka added.

The proposed constitutional change to considerably strengthen Erdogan’s powers was approved by a narrow majority of 51.4 percent of the vote.

The main Turkish opposition party called for the referendum’s result to be abolished on Monday, saying frauds accompanied the voting and counting of votes.

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