Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government to submit proposal reviving death penalty to parliament

October 29, 2016 8:15 pm

Turkish President (Photo by AFP)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his government intends to reintroduce the death penalty as a way of punishing those behind a failed mid-July coup.
Erdogan said Saturday that the government would submit a proposal to parliament to revive the death penalty two years after the country abolished the capital punishment to accelerate its bid for joining the European Union.
“Our government will take this (proposal on capital punishment) to parliament. I am convinced that parliament will approve it, and when it comes back to me, I will ratify it,” Erdogan said in a ceremony to inaugurate a high-speed train station in the capital, Ankara.
One day after the July 15 coup against Erdogan was declared over, began to launch a massive crackdown on those believed to have played a role in the abortive attempt. Official data show that more than 35,000 people have been arrested while at least 80,000 have been suspended or sacked from their positions in military and public institutions.
The large-scale crackdown has sparked criticism, especially from the EU governments which say Turkey has acted beyond the rule of law in its hunt for the plotters. Ankara rejects the allegations, saying it will continue the purge until it finds every single person tied to Fethullah Gulen, a cleric based in the United States whom Turkey accuses of masterminding the coup.
In his Saturday remarks, Erdogan dismissed EU’s calls and said reviving the punishment was a popular demand as people were increasingly urging the government to bring the putschists to justice.
“The West says this, the West says that. Excuse me, but what counts is not what the West says. What counts is what my people say,” he said.
“Soon, soon, don’t worry. It’s happening soon, God willing,” Erdogan added, amid chants of “We want the death penalty!” by the crowd.
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