Criticizing a meeting of European Union leaders at the Vatican with Pope Francis on Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday said “the alliance of crusaders has shown itself in the end,” Milliyet reported.
“EU member states met at the Vatican. These developments bring something to mind. Why did you meet at the Vatican? Why did you meet before the pope? When did the pope become a member of the EU? The alliance of crusaders has shown itself in the end. That is it. What did you tell us up to now? ‘You repeat this, but there is no such thing. Yes, you [EU] won’t accept Turkey into the EU because Turkey is Muslim. I have said this now. Look at what will happen tomorrow,” said Erdoğan during a referendum campaign rally in İstanbul’s Sancaktepe district.
“Interesting! Both social democrats and Christian democrats participated in the meeting [at the Vatican]. Good grief! What is this? What is this? I have said this, see what they say tomorrow,” added Erdoğan.
Pope Francis received 27 European Union heads of state and government at a private audience in the Vatican’s Sala Regia on Friday evening. The meeting, which was attended by Antonio Tajani, president of the European Parliament, Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, and Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, took place on the eve of the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome.