The question about whether Turkey should continue its 13-year-old bid to join the European Union could be put to a vote, according to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He suggested a referendum on membership to the bloc.

Criticising the EU for keeping Turkey waiting at the gates for so many years, Erdogan said: “But if this goes on like this, with this mentality. This is a headline for tomorrow’s papers. Our duty is probably to go to the 81 million (people in Turkey) and see what the 81 million decide”.

As reported by the Reuters news agency, 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.

As for Erdogan, whose roots are in political Islam, he has long accused EU member of being uneasy at the prospect of having a majority Muslim country as a member.