Leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Devlet Bahçeli has called on the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan not to delay in taking action for reinstatement of capital punishment.
“The MHP fully supports the legislation that will reintroduce the death penalty, its debate and approval in Parliament, and it is waiting for this issue to be resolved. The reinstatement of capital punishment is a public demand. The AKP and the president support this demand, so let’s not delay,” Bahçeli said at his party’s parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday.
The debate over the death penalty re-emerged after a failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016.
After claiming victory in a referendum that greatly expanded his powers, Erdoğan on April 16 strongly hinted that the time has come for Turkey to consider reinstating the death penalty.
His remarks attracted widespread criticism from the European Union, which Turkey aspires to join, with many EU officials telling Turkey that such a move would spell the end of Turkey’s membership talks.
Concerning the EU criticism on the possible reinstatement of the death penalty in Turkey, Bahçeli said: “[They say] the death penalty is against the principles and values of Europe. Does standing behind terror organizations comply with those values and principles? Let’s show them how Turkey makes its own decisions.”
Turkey abolished the death penalty in 2004 as a part of reforms to facilitate Turkey’s accession to the European Union, although the death penalty has not been used since 1984.