Turkish President Mulls Death Penalty After Coup Attempt

Turkish President Mulls Death Penalty  After Coup AttemptTurkish President Mulls Death Penalty  After Coup Attempt

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Turkey will consider reinstating the death penalty after the failed attempt to overthrow his government.

“In democracies, decisions are made based on what the people say. I think our government will speak with the opposition and come to a decision,” he said on Sunday, reacting to crowds in Istanbul calling for capital punishment.

“We cannot delay this any more because in this country, those who launch a coup will have to pay the price for it,” he told supporters after attending funerals for victims of the coup attempt, Al Jazeera reported.

Turkey abolished the death penalty in 2004 under reforms aimed at obtaining European Union membership.

Reinstatement would create further issues between the EU and Ankara in the already stalled membership talks.

Erdogan repeated calls for the United States to extradite Fethullah Gulen, the US-based Turkish businessman and cleric whom Turkey accuses of orchestrating the attempted coup.

Gulen condemned the coup attempt “in the strongest terms” in a rare interview with reporters in Pennsylvania and rejected charges of being the coup mastermind, suggesting Erdogan may have staged it himself.

At least 6,000 people have been detained across the country in relation to the failed coup, with more detentions expected, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said on national television on Sunday.

“The judicial process on this will continue,” Bozdag said.

Among those arrested was General Bekir Ercan Van, commander of the Incirlik air base from which US aircraft launch airstrikes on IS militants in Syria and Iraq, an official told Reuters.

EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, warned the Turkish government on Monday against taking steps that would damage the constitutional order following a failed weekend coup.

“We are the ones saying today rule of law has to be protected in the country,” she told reporters on arrival at an EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels,  “There is no excuse for any steps that takes the country away from that.”