Erdoğan says doesn’t care if capital punishment torpedoes EU membership

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan greets the crowd during a mass opening ceremony at Kepez Arena in Antalya, Turkey on March 25, 2017.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Saturday that he does not care if reinstating the death penalty ends Turkey’s integration with the European Union, the t24 news website reported.

“They say that If the death penalty is reinstated, Turkey will not have a place in Europe. We do not need that place,” said Erdoğan during a speech in Antalya on Saturday.

“[Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal] Kılıçdaroğlu says he will support it. [Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet] Bahçeli is already in favor of it. I believe that [Prime Minister Binali] Yıldırım is for it, too. What I say is that if it [capital punishment] is approved in Parliament and comes to me, I will approve it,” added Erdoğan.

Erdoğan also reiterated that he would call Westerners “fascists” and “Nazis” as long as they call him a “dictator.”

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had said on March 19 that reinstatement of capital punishment in Turkey would halt negotiations with Ankara for its membership in the EU.

“Executing the death penalty is incompatible with membership of the Council of Europe,” said Daniel Holtgen, director of communications at the CoE and spokesperson for Secretary-General Thorbjørn Jagland, in reaction to the Turkish government plan to introduce the death penalty.

EU High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini also stressed in a statement on July 18, 2016 that “no country can become an EU member state if it introduces the death penalty.”

 

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