Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says if the nation wants the reinstatement of capital punishment, the country’s political parties will oblige.
"If the nation makes such a decision (in support of death penalty), I believe political parties will abide by this decision," said Erdogan.
"It is the Turkish parliament that will decide on this (death penalty) given the sovereignty rests with the nation... I declare it in advance, I will approve the decision made by the parliament," he added.
Erdogan also attacked critics of returning the death penalty who argue that there is no capital punishment in the European Union, adding, "They say there is no death penalty in the EU... Well, the US has it; Japan has it; China has it; most of the world has it. So they are allowed to have it. We used to have it until 1984."
Ankara and Brussels are currently engaged in negotiations over Turkey’s EU membership; however, member states stress that reinstating the death penalty will cancel the process.
He stressed that the country will be purged of all members of the Gulen movement, which he claims is responsible for the botched putsch."They will pay a price for what they have done."
Fethullah Gulen (seen below), an outspoken opponent of Erdogan living in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999, has firmly denied any role in the coup attempt. He also warned the Turkish people that the coup might have been orchestrated by the government to purge its opponents.
Erdogan made the remarks while addressing hundreds of thousands of his supporters who had gathered for a rally organized by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) at Yenikapi square on the shores of the Marmara Sea in Istanbul.
The coup began in Turkey late on July 15, when a faction of the Turkish military declared that it was in control of the country and that the government was no more in charge. The putsch, however, was suppressed, and over 60,000 people in the military, judiciary, civil service, and education have so far been sacked, dismissed or detained over allegations of involvement in the coup attempt and their links to Gulen.