The European Parliament made a fresh call Thursday to freeze Turkeys European Union accession talks if Ankara proceeds with constitutional reforms expanding President Recep Tayyip Erdogans powers.
Turkey responded angrily after 477 European lawmakers backed a non-binding motion in a vote in Strasbourg with just 64 against with 97 abstentions.
The motion called for the "formal suspension of accession negotiations with Turkey without delay if the constitutional reform package is implemented unchanged."
Erdogan said in May it was up to Brussels to decide if it wanted Turkey as a member of the bloc but added Ankara was not prepared to behave like a "beggar" to gain entry.
Erdogan has repeatedly come under fire from EU institutions since an abortive military coup against him 12 months ago.
He responded to the attempted putsch with a huge crackdown on perceived opponents of his regime -- including the judiciary -- after a tight April referendum handed him sweeping new powers and the abolition of the post of prime minister after the next election.
Erdogan says those powers are necessary to underpin security in the NATO member state in a highly restive region.
But EU states warned a mooted move to reimpose the death penalty in Turkey would automatically end Ankara's accession bid which has been decades in the making.
Ahead of the vote, the lawmakers voiced their disapproval of Erdogan's "repeated support for reintroducing capital punishment."
EU lawmakers see the outcome of the referendum as impinging on the rule of law, human rights and freedom of expression as well as impeding tackling corruption.
But they added they wanted to maintain an "open and constructive dialogue," notably to facilitate fighting terrorism and dealing with the migrant crisis.
To that effect, the EU intends to send a delegation to Ankara before the end of the year.
"We are not calling for a wholesale halt to dialogue and all cooperation with Ankara," said the European Parliament's chief Turkey negotiator, Dutch Socialist MEP Kati Piri.
'Politically motivated' vote
But Piri warned that if EU legislators did not call Turkey out on issues of major concern it would "seriously undermine our credibility."
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim slammed the EU vote as "without importance" and "null and void".
He added: "Relations between the EU and Turkey require sincerity. The EU must decide on its future project and if it really wishes to move forward with Turkey or not."
Turkish EU affairs minister, Omer Celik, dismissed the vote as "a politically motivated decision" which was "sabotaging relations" between the bloc and Ankara.
Those relations took a major knock in the run-up to the referendum when several Turkish ministers found themselves prevented from campaigning in EU states ahead of the poll.
Turkey and the EU opened accession talks in 2005 but the process has stalled as ties worsened.
Despite current frostiness, most EU states, with the notable exception of Austria, are not seeking the formal suspension of the accession process for fear that would create a definitive rupture in relations.