Failed putsch: Turkey to consider death penalty for all coup plotters

Erdogan threatens to bring back capital punishment, abolished in 2004

Afp October 30, 2016

ISTANBUL: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday said his government would ask parliament to consider reintroducing the death penalty as a punishment for the plotters behind the July coup bid.

"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 at an inauguration ceremony in Ankara. "Soon, soon, don't worry. It's happening soon, God willing," he said, as crowds chanted: "We want the death penalty!"

Capital punishment was abolished in Turkey in 2004 as the nation sought accession to the European Union. After the failed bid to unseat Erdogan on July 15, the leader had threatened to bring the death penalty back for the coup plotters, stunning EU leaders. Tens of thousands of staff within the military, judiciary, civil service and education have been dismissed or detained in a crackdown.

On Saturday, Erdogan scoffed at the West's warnings on the reintroduction of the death penalty. "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.

Ankara accuses preacher Fethullah Gulen who lives in exile in the US of masterminding the attempt to oust Erdogan -- a claim he denies. "What are you doing in Pennsylvania, Go on, come here! Why don't you come home?" Erdogan added.

Erdogan's government has also repeatedly called on the US to extradite Gulen.

In the event of him not being extradited, "nothing would ever be the same again" in US-Turkish relations, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag warned on Saturday.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 30th, 2016.


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