ISTANBUL, Turkey — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated Saturday he anticipated parliament to approve restoring capital punishment after subsequent month’s referendum in a transfer that would finish Ankara’s bid to affix the EU.
His remarks got here as Ankara was locked in a bitter standoff with Europe after Germany and the Netherlands blocked Turkish ministers from campaigning for a ‘yes’ vote forward of the April 16 referendum on increasing Erdogan’s powers.
The spat has seen Erdogan unleashing a volley of barbs towards Berlin and The Hague, even likening Germany’s leaders to Nazis, in remarks which have been on Saturday rubbished by Berlin’s high diplomat as “ludicrous”.
With the bitter standoff displaying no signal of ending, his remarks on restoring the death penalty regarded set to additional pressure relations.
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Turkey utterly abolished the death penalty in 2004 as a part of its efforts to affix the European Union and the bloc has made clear that any transfer to revive it could scupper Ankara’s already-embattled membership bid.
Erdogan raised the concept of bringing again the death penalty after the failed coup of July 15, suggesting it could convey justice to the households of the victims.
“I believe, God willing, that after the April 16 vote, parliament will do the necessary concerning your demands for capital punishment,” Erdogan stated at a televised rally within the western metropolis of Canakkale, his phrases greeted by loud cheers.
To turn out to be legislation, the invoice would nonetheless must be signed by the top of state. But Erdogan stated he would signal it “without hesitation”.
‘Ignore Hans and George’
EU officers have repeatedly warned Turkey that restoring capital punishment would spell the top of its decades-long bid to affix the bloc.
But Erdogan and his ministers have stated they want to answer widespread demand for such a transfer to take care of the ringleaders of the coup.
The Turkish strongman stated he didn’t care what Europe considered such a transfer.
“What Hans and George say is not important for me,” he stated, utilizing two frequent European names. “What the people say, what the law says, that’s what is important for us,” he added.
Erdogan has repeatedly raised the concept Turkey might restore capital punishment.
But that is the primary time he has instantly referred to as on parliament to approve it after the referendum on constitutional change.
No judicial executions have taken place since October 25, 1984 when leftwing militant Hidir Aslan was hanged following the 1980 army coup.
After the measure was outlawed, the 1999 death sentence towards Kurdish separatist chief Abdullah Ocalan — and others on death row — was commuted to life behind bars.
A political gambit?
In his newest salvo, Erdogan blasted German Chancellor Angela Merkel for backing a Dutch refusal to let Turkish ministers maintain rallies in Rotterdam.
“Shame on you! You are all the same,” he stated.
“You will not divert this nation from its path. On April 16, my nation will give the West the most beautiful response to its false behavior, God willing,” he added.
Analysts say Erdogan is blissful to choose a struggle with Europe in a drive for nationalist votes that would show essential in figuring out the end result of what’s anticipated to be a decent referendum.
He has notably needled Germany and the Netherlands by saying their conduct was harking back to Nazi Germany.
Denouncing his remarks as “ludicrous”, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel additionally accused the Turkish chief of overtly enjoying to the gallery forward of the referendum.
“He needs an enemy for his election campaign: Turkey humiliated and the West arrogant,” Gabriel stated in an interview with Der Spiegel journal on Saturday.
Gulen guilt? Berlin unconvinced
And in feedback prone to additional anger Ankara, Germany’s intelligence chief stated Berlin was unconvinced by Turkish assertions that US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen was the mastermind behind the July 15 coup.
“Turkey has tried on different levels to convince us of that fact, but they have not succeeded,” overseas intelligence service chief Bruno Kahl instructed Der Spiegel.
In the wake of the putsch, Ankara launched an unprecedented purge of alleged Gulen supporters, with some 43,000 folks jailed and awaiting, or on, trial.
Kahl stated that the coup was launched by “part of the military” who anticipated to be hit by a purge. CBB/rga