President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday he would consider putting Turkey's long-stalled bid to join the European Union to a referendum, signaling exasperation with a process he says has been waylaid by prejudice against Muslims.
A direct vote on whether to continue Turkey's candidacy for EU membership could potentially end Ankara's negotiations for accession, which formally began in 2005, and increase its distance from the West.
EU countries, particularly Germany, have been critical of Turkey and Erdogan in the aftermath of an attempted coup in 2016. The sweeping security crackdown that followed the failed putsch has seen more than 100,000 people jailed and dozens of media outlets shut down. Erdogan has fumed over what he sees as a lack of support from the West.