Turkey Considering Reinstating Death Penalty: PM

Turkish Prime Minister and leader of Turkey's ruling party Justice and Development Party (AKP) Binali Yildirim gestures as he speaks during an AKP meeting at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) in Ankara, on May 24, 2016. Turkey's incoming Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on May 24 unveiled his new …

ANKARA (AFP) –  Prime Minister Binali Yildirim (pictured) said Tuesday that Turkey is considering reinstating limited use of the death penalty if there is an agreement between political parties.

“If there is consensus with other political parties on this demand of the people… limited arrangements can be made,” Yildirim said in a speech in Ankara.

He said it would not be used retroactively, but did not elaborate further.

Turkey abolished capital punishment in 2004 as part of reforms introduced in its bid to join the European Union. It has not executed anyone since 1984.

But President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had suggested Turkey could bring back the death penalty in the wake of the failed July coup.

And hundreds of people have chanted “we want the death penalty!” at government rallies.

But Brussels has warned any return could mean the end of Ankara’s talks to join the 28-member bloc.

Erdogan said at the weekend his government would ask parliament to consider reintroducing the death penalty to punish the plotters behind the coup bid.

His comments drew the ire of European politicians including Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz who said it was “a cruel and inhumane form of punishment”.

The Council of Europe has also condemned any move to reinstate the death penalty, saying it was “incompatible with membership of the Council”.

Despite Erdogan’s comments. Yildirim told lawmakers from his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP): “I want it to be known that that this (death penalty) would not be applied retroactively.”

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli told his lawmakers that he was ready to support the AKP on the issue.

“Since there is a need for the death penalty and since our nation wants this… there is no need to discuss this unnecessarily. If the AKP is ready, the MHP has always been ready,” Bahceli said.


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