Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan does not rule out death penalty: a few days after the failed coup attempt at the hand of the armed forces, AKP leader admits that – although capital punishment lies within the competence of the Parliament – the ruling party since 2002 will discuss with the opposition whether to punish by death the leaders of the failed coup or not.
Turkey had abolished death penalty in 2004, as a prerequisite to enter the EU, but now this aspiration seems to have become of secondary importance, coming after the need to settle scores with the protagonists of the coup. Among other things, Turkey’s joining the EU is no longer among Erdogan’s urgent needs, while Europe desperately needs Turkey’s support to hold off the tsunami of refugees fleeing from Syria.
In his first interview after the failed coup, Erdogan told CNN that he was going to respect any decision taken by the Parliament: “We are faced with an obvious crime of treason. Nevertheless, it will be up to Parliament to take a constitutional decision. Therefore, the leaders (of different parties) will have to meet and discuss it. If they agree to discuss it, as president, I will approve any decision the Parliament is going to take.
Erdogan has also announced that they will soon send a formal extradition request to the US concerning the religious man and former close friend of the president Turkish, Fetullah Guelen: “We have a mutual agreement for the extradition of the criminals and there should be reciprocity ‘in this kind of things.”