Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vows to reinstate death penalty after April referendum

March 19, 2017 3:00 am

Turkish President arriving to attend a ceremony marking the 102nd anniversary of the Canakkale Victory at the 18 March Stadium in Canakkale, western Turkey on March 18, 2017. (Photos by AFP)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he will immediately approve the reinstatement of capital punishment after an upcoming constitutional referendum.
“I believe, God willing, that after the April 16 vote, the parliament will do the necessary thing concerning your demands for capital punishment. As for me, I will approve it without any hesitation,” said Erdogan on a Saturday rally.
On April 16, Turkey will hold a referendum on the constitutional amendments, including giving executive powers to the president, currently a ceremonial post, and abolishing the office of the prime minister.
Erdogan hinted that those behind a failed July coup in the country would be facing the death penalty.

Turkish Special Forces stand guard at the entrance of the courthouse on January 23, 2017 at Silivri district in Istanbul. Trial starts of soldiers accused of trying to block Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen airport during the failed coup of July 2016.

“Who opened fire on their brothers in arms that night? Who attacked their own people with tanks and artillery, bombed the parliament, the presidential complex, and headquarters of the Special Forces? They are all busted. Our people should be at ease. Those murderers and their supporters will get the penalty they deserve,” he said.
He also stressed that the constitutional reforms would guarantee the Turkish political system’s stability and security, and make it similar to that of the “world’s strongest nations.”
“If we aim to be among the top 10 economies [by 2023], we need a system through which we can compete with these countries,” he added.
He also stressed that Turkey would show a suitable response to the Netherlands and other EU states who barred Turkish officials from taking part in rallies in support of April referendum.   
“This [action] have no place in international law…If you’ll continue like this, you’ll have the necessary response from Turkey,” he stressed.
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