President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said Turkey may hold a new referendum on whether to reinstate the death penalty following a public referendum that will be held on April 16 on a constitutional reform package introducing an executive presidency in Turkey.
Speaking at an inauguration ceremony in the western province of Manisa on Friday, Erdoğan said: “The [public] demand for reinstatement of capital punishment will be brought to Parliament. I wish that the moment it is passed by Parliament, I could approve it. But there is a problem, it requires a constitutional amendment. The 16th of the month [April] will be an answer to this. If necessary, we can hold a new referendum on this [reintroduction of capital punishment].”
Erdoğan and the government have been pushing for reinstatement of the death penalty since a failed coup attempt on July 15.
Turkey has been officially negotiating as a candidate country with the EU since 2005 and abolished capital punishment in 2004 as part of EU reforms.