AKP ally to introduce capital punishment bill to Turkish parliament in October

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President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets Great Union Party (BBP) leader Mustafa Destici (R) in Ankara, Turkey on May 10, 2018. TURKISH PRESIDENCY / MURAT CETINMUHURDAR / HANDOUT / Anadolu Agency

Ultranationalist Grand Unity Party (BBP) leader and deputy Mustafa Destici announced on Sunday that he would introduce a bill to parliament in October to reinstate the death penalty in Turkey, the Diken news website reported.

Destici and his party were part of an alliance with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in the June 24 general election.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Aug. 1 vowed to take steps to reinstate capital punishment during a speech at the funeral of a mother and an infant who were killed in a terrorist attack carried out by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

He repeatedly said he would immediately approve such legislation if passed by parliament.

“As the BBP, we will keep our promise to the public and fulfill what our belief requires,” Destici said, adding that he wanted the reinstatement of capital punishment particularly for terrorists and rapists.

“We will introduce the bill and see the stance of the various groups in parliament,” he added.

Turkey had stopped carrying out the death penalty 34 years ago, and in 2002 it was removed from the Turkish constitution.

Turkish politicians started to discuss capital punishment at political rallies to boost public sentiment after a coup attempt on July 15, 2016. Also, with child abuse stories in the headlines in recent months, the death penalty for child abusers has become a topic of public debate.

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