Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Tuğrul Türkeş, who joined the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) after resigning from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) last year, has said he is against the reinstatement of capital punishment as it will set Turkey back in its development as a nation.
Speaking with the Hürriyet daily on Sunday, Türkeş said the death penalty is popular in Turkish politics because the people are demanding its reinstatement as a result of the trauma caused by a bloody coup attempt on July 15.
“I believe it is difficult to reinstate the death penalty in today’s Turkey as it will inflict more damage than benefit to the country,” Türkeş said.
When asked about the pro-death penalty stance of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the ruling AKP, Türkeş said all his fellow colleagues in the AKP know that he is against the death penalty as it will be a setback for the country’s future.
He also said he once supported the death penalty only for those who had committed the crimes of treason and child abuse when the then-government, in which Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli was the deputy prime minister, abolished it in 2001.
According to Türkeş, the reinstatement of capital punishment might suspend Turkey’s membership in the European Council as the political developments in Turkey following the coup attempt have already prompted the European Parliament to vote in favor of temporarily freezing EU membership talks with Turkey.