Erdoğan signals reinstatement of death penalty after referendum

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan addresses supporters during a rally in İstanbul on March 11, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Saturday that Parliament is expected to reinstate capital punishment after an April 16 referendum that will switch the country to an executive presidency with much broader powers for the president.

Addressing the families of soldiers who were killed in the line of duty during a commemoration of the Gallipoli victory during World War I, Erdoğan said, “God willing, Parliament will take the required steps regarding your demand for the reinstatement of capital punishment.”

The debate over the death penalty re-emerged after a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

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.

Several EU officials stated that in the event Turkey reinstates capital punishment, it would halt membership negotiations.

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