Turkish President Erdoğan Ready to Reinstate Death Penalty
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told his supporters on Tuesday that he is ready and willing to reinstate the death penalty in Turkey if the people want it, in light of the military coup attempt against his government on Friday.
“Today, is there no capital punishment in America ? In Russia? In China? In countries around the world?” Erdoğan asked his supporters rhetorically. “Only in European Union countries is there no capital punishment.”
Erdoğan seemed to be implying he did not mind having to give up on Turkey’s bid to become an European Union member state – since the EU has strictly prohibited entry to any state which has the death penalty. Which was why Turkey initially prohibited the death penalty back in 2004 when it was trying to join the union.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has already warned Erdoğan, in a phone call on Monday, that it will be forbidden from joining the EU.
Turkey, Erdoğan added, is “a democratic state run by rule of law,” and “you cannot put aside the people’s demands.”
He made the remarks to thousands of supporters who gathered outside his home in Istanbul demanding the re-implementation of the death penalty.
More than 260 people were killed in Friday’s failed coup attempt. Since then Erdoğan’s government has rounded up thousands of people they allege were involved.
Parliament will discuss re-implementation of the death penalty on Wednesday.