Erdoğan on reinstating death penalty: I don’t make decisions based on what foreigners say

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A handout picture taken and released on November 23, 2106 by the Turkish Presidential Press Office shows Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivering a speech during an annual economy and trade meeting of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul

In a series of speeches slamming the European Union for its criticism of Turkey over violation of human rights and media freedoms and the discussion to reinstate capital punishment, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that if Parliament approves a bill on the death penalty, he will sign it it.

“I do not make decisions based on what a Hans or a George says, but on what the people think,” Erdoğan said on Saturday, in reference to Europe’s criticism of Turkey’s intention to reinstate capital punishment, which was abolished in 2004 in accordance with EU reforms.

“Some people in the EU ask why we want the death penalty. It is none of your business,” Erdoğan said, following the European Parliament’s vote to freeze EU accession talks with Turkey due to the deteriorating state of the rule of law in the country.

Using a Turkish idiom, Erdoğan said that “it is easy for someone single to advise a married person to get a divorce,” in an effort to make an analogy between Europe and Turkey. Erdoğan argued that the Europeans are comfortable as opposed to Turkey, which lost 248 lives during a failed coup on July 15.

Turkey has been officially negotiating as a candidate country with the EU since 2005.

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