Lawmakers on Thursday overwhelmingly approved the 2016 Commission Report on Turkey, voting 477 to 64 in favor. Almost 100 lawmakers abstained in the vote, which is non-binding.

However, Turkey’s EU minister said the parliament had “no right to make such a call” and demanded lawmakers “respect the will of the Turkish people”.

Among other things, the report calls on member states to "formally suspend the accession negotiations with Turkey without delay if the constitutional reform package is implemented unchanged".

This is a reference to the collection of wide-ranging constitutional proposals approved by the Turkish electorate in April.

The report also calls on EU institutions to suspend pre-accession funds if negotiations with Turkey are suspended.

Speaking after the vote, EU Minister Omer Celik told reporters in Ankara it was not a democratic attitude to demand changes to a constitutional decision approved by a referendum.

He added Turkey’s reforms would be "implemented unchanged".

Accession call

Earlier on Thursday, Celik, speaking in a news conference with Johannes Hahn, the EU's enlargement official, said: "The backbone of the relationship between Turkey and the EU are accession negotiations."

The minister -- stressing Turkey’s official commitment to EU membership -- said any proposal which fell short of accession negotiations would be against the nature of the relationship that Turkey and the EU have had up to now.

It is a non-binding vote in terms of EU decision making as the approved version of the report will be sent back to the European Commission to agree on the changes made by the parliament. 

EU accession talks began in 2005. To gain membership, Turkey has to successfully conclude negotiations with the EU in 35 policy chapters that involve reforms and the adoption of European standards.

Negotiations, however, hit a stalemate in 2007 because of Turkey’s position on the Cyprus issue. German and French governments have also opposed the country’s full EU membership.

Anadolu Agency