Erdoğan says death penalty to soon be reinstated

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visits the Anitkabir, the mausoleum of the late founder of the Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, during a ceremony marking the 93rd Anniversary of Republic Day in Ankara on October 29, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / ADEM ALTAN

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Saturday that legislation to reinstate capital punishment, which was abolished in 2004, will soon be taken to Parliament by the Justice And Development Party (AKP).

“It is soon. … Don’t worry. … It is soon, God willing. … Our government [AKP] will bring it to Parliament. I believe that it will be approved by the legislature. When it comes to me, I will approve it,” said Erdoğan after a group of people chanted “We want the death penalty” during a ceremony in Ankara on Saturday.

Asking why he would approve it, Erdoğan said: “Because what the nation wants will happen. Does not sovereignty, without any condition or reservation, belong to the nation? Yes it does. … Then the issue has been solved.”

“The West says this and that. … Sorry… What is important is not what the West says but my nation,” added Erdoğan, in reaction to criticism from the US and the European Union (EU).

Erdoğan and the government have been pushing for reinstatement of the death penalty since a failed coup attempt on July 15.

EU High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini stressed on July 18 that “no country can become an EU member state if it introduces the death penalty.”

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