Turkish President Recep Erdoğan has moved to reinstate the death penalty following last month’s failed military coup.
Mr Erdogan addressed huge crowds of supporters in Istanbul, saying that he will reinstate the death penalty if the “nation makes such a decision”.
Capital punishment has been banned in Turkey since 1984 and the reinstatement will seriously jeopardise the country’s chances of joining the European Union. But regardless, the Turkish leader, who has detained thousands of military personal and academics since the coup, seems intent to push on.
He said: “As the sovereignty unconditionally belongs to the nation and as you request the death penalty [for the coup leaders], the authority which is going to decide on this issue is Turkey’s National Assembly. If our parliament takes such a decision, the necessary step will be taken. I am expressing in advance, I will approve such a decision coming from the parliament
“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. Sovereignty belongs to the people, so if the people make this decision I am sure the political parties will comply.”