Erdogan: Turkish People Want Death Penalty Reintroduced After Failed Coup

Erdogan: Turkish People Want Death Penalty Reintroduced After Failed Coup

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his government would ensure that the Turkish people’s “call” to reinstate the death penalty in wake of the failed coup is heard despite the EU’s warning that it would bring accession talks to a halt.
In a Monday interview with a German broadcaster ARD, Erdogan pledged to follow up on his promise to reintroduce capital punishment if such a request is submitted by the country’s parliament, saying the government could not ignore the will of the people, RT reports.
“What do the [Turkish] people say today? They want the death penalty reintroduced. And we as the government must listen to what the people say. We can’t say ‘no, that doesn’t interest us’,” he stressed, while adding that he cannot reinstate the punishment by himself.
“I am not a king. I am only a country’s president. To be a stronger president does not mean to act in breach of constitution,” he said, pointing out that capital punishment is not considered an abnormal practice anywhere in the world, save Europe.
“Only in Europe is there no death penalty. Otherwise, it is almost everywhere,” he stressed.
Calls to reintroduce the death penalty, which was abolished by Turkey in 2004 to facilitate its acceptance as an EU member, have come amid a clampdown on the military and civil servants following a failed coup attempt.
Over 13,000 people, largely soldiers, have been detained in the massive purges that have followed.   
“Yes, it was the most critical point of my political life,” Erdogan said in referring to the coup attempt, labeling it “an attack on the people”.

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