Erdogan says Death Penalty for Coup Soldiers is not off the Table

Early this morning, while speaking to the crowd in front of his Presidential Residence in Istanbul, President of Tukey Recep Tayyip Erdogan noted that he is ready to reinstate the death penalty if the Turkish people demand it, and if the Parliament of Turkey passes the necessary laws.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Image by Kremlin.ru/CC BY 4.0)

Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Image by Kremlin.ru/CC BY 4.0)

The crowd gathered in front of the Presidential Residence, shouting and cheering in favor of the death penalty to those involved in a failed military coup attempt.

“Today, isn’t there a death penalty in the US? In Russia? In China? In other countries of the world? Only in the EU there is no death penalty”, noted Erdogan. He pointed out that Turkey is a democracy in which there is a rule of law, and that the demands of the people cannot be ignored.

Yesterday, while speaking to a CNN journalist, Erdogan said that the people made it clear that they want the death penalty to those who plotted the coup. Referring to the coup plotters, Erdogan said to CNN, “Why should I keep them and feed them in prisons, for years to come? That is what people say. They want a swift end to it.”

It is expected that the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (Turkish parliament) will discuss reinstating the death penalty tomorrow.

EU officials responded to Erdogan’s statements, warning Turkey that reinstating the death penalty will mark the end of its EU membership negotiations.

Following the human rights reform related to the efforts of the Turkish government to join the EU, the death penalty for peacetime crimes was banned in 2002. The total ban of the death penalty occurred on 2004.

This is not the first time Erdogan proposed reinstating the death penalty in Turkey; in 2012, while commenting on the upsurge in Kurdish militant violence, he proposed the same.

Dejan Scepanovic

Based in Bosnia and Hezregovina. BA in political science. Columnist.