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EU says will assess planned Turkish constitutional changes

European Union (L) and Turkish flags fly outside a hotel in Istanbul, Turkey May 4, 2016. REUTERS/Murad Sezer/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union will assess planned Turkish constitutional changes in light of the country’s status as a candidate for EU membership, the European Commission said on Monday.

Having survived a military coup in July, Turkish president President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the referendum is needed to stabilize the country, though European politicians have criticized his approach.

“The proposed amendments, if approved at the referendum of 16 April, and especially their practical implementation, will be assessed in light of Turkey’s obligations as an EU candidate country and as a member of the Council of Europe,” the European Commission said in a statement.

Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek