Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has spent years lobbying for his country to be admitted as a member of the European Union. The quest began when he was prime minister, a post he gave up in order not only to be president, but to make the position a “strong executive” that he compares to that of the American system of government. After attaining the presidency, Erdogan sought and won parliamentary support for making a number of constitutional changes. But one change he sought, the revival of the death penalty, would remove Turkey from any consideration of EU membership. Nevertheless, Erdogan is proceeding with a referendum to do just that next month. Reaction from the EU is growing and all of it has been unequivocal. For his part, some observers believe Erdogan believes he can have it both ways.