|Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan|
Turkey will decide whether or not to reinstate the death penalty, not the West, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Nov. 12.
"The issue on the reintroduction of death penalty is also on the government's agenda. I said 'I, as the president, will approve the decision after the parliament decides.' The West cannot make decision regarding this, but we can," Erdogan said speaking during the funeral ceremony of Muhammet Fatih Safiturk, the district governor of the southeastern province of Mardin's Derik, who was killed in an outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) attack on Nov. 11.
"The forgiver of crimes committed against the person is not the state but heirs. This is not a crime committed against the state. The state can forgive crimes committed against it and that is another issue. However, the only forgiveness authority is heirs in crimes against the person. Therefore, what George or Hans say does not concern us. What concerns us is what the God says," the president added.
Amid the ongoing discussions on the reintroduction of death penalty in the country, a progression report by the European Commission on Nov. 9 noted that the rejection of the death penalty was an essential element, expressing the Union's concern on the issue.
"Regarding the renewed considerations to introduce a bill in parliament to reinstate the death penalty, the EU recalls that the unequivocal rejection of the death penalty is an essential element of the EU acquis and a central international obligation to which Turkey has committed," the report said.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said a "limited measure" could be drafted to restore the death penalty, which was formally abandoned in 2002, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterating that he would approve such a measure if parliament backed it.
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