"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." - Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Turkey's Parliament to discuss re-implementation of death penalty

Discussions on the reinstatement of the death penalty are expected to be taken to the General Assembly of the Turkish Parliament in the near future. 

The topic, which has been widely advocated by the public in the aftermath of the failed July 15 coup attempt, was once again brought to the forefront by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at a Republic Day reception which was held on Oct. 29 marking the 93rd anniversary of Republic of Turkey. "This matter should not be postponed any further as there is a public demand for it," said Erdoğan, adding that he believed the government would bring the matter to Parliament and the ministers would take the right decision.

Regarding discussions on the death penalty in Turkey, the Council of Europe (CoE) stated, "Executing the death penalty is incompatible with membership in the CoE." When asked whether reinstating the death penalty would create more issues with the EU, President Erdoğan replied, "The EU cannot bring back 246 people who were martyred, nor can they restore the lives of 2,194 people who were wounded on the night of the coup," Erdoğan said. Moreover, the president asserted that the people's demands regarding a certain matter always supersede what "the West" thinks about it.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım also spoke about the reinstatement of the death penalty saying that the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) lacks the required 14 seats to take the issue to a referendum by themselves, adding that they will discuss the matter with other parties in parliament. "As we cannot take this issue to a referendum by ourselves, we will seek ways to reach a compromise with other parties," said Yıldırım.

According to the Turkish Penal Code, any proposed constitutional reform must receive at least 330 parliamentary votes to be taken to a referendum, while 367 votes are needed to directly pass the proposed change. The death penalty was banned in 2004 as part of Turkey's EU harmonization process and no one has been put to death in the country since 1984.

Source: Daily Sabah, October 31, 2016

MHP ready to support death penalty if proposed, chairman says


President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahçeli said that his party is more than willing to support the reinstatement of the death penalty if proposed by the ruling Justice and Development (AK Party) Party.

Speaking at his party's parliamentary group meeting in Ankara, Bahçeli said that there is no need to wait since majority of the people are in favor of the death penalty, which has become a necessary process as a result of the threat posed by perpetrators of the coup and terrorists.

"MHP will do whatever is necessary if the proposal for reinstating the death penalty for such crimes is brought to the parliament" Bahçeli said.

Bahçeli noted that the coup attempt led by Gülenist terror group (FETÖ) has significantly shaken political and societal values and requires new approaches to resolve issues.

Discussions on the reinstatement of the death penalty are expected to be taken to the General Assembly of the Turkish Parliament in the near future. The topic has been widely advocated by the public in the aftermath of the failed July 15 coup attempt.

According to the Turkish Penal Code, any proposed constitutional reform must receive at least 330 parliamentary votes to be taken to a referendum, while 367 votes are needed to directly pass the proposed change.

The death penalty was banned in 2004 as part of Turkey's EU harmonization process and no one has been put to death in the country since 1984.

Source: Daily Sabah, November 1, 2016

Turkey could draft 'limited measure' on death penalty, PM says


Turkey could draft a "limited measure" to bring back the death penalty if a political compromise could be reached on the issue, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Tuesday.

Following the July failed coup, crowds have repeatedly called for the re-introduction of capital punishment and President Tayyip Erdogan has said he would approve it if parliament voted for it.

Turkey formally abandoned the death penalty in 2002 as part of its European Union accession process, although no executions had been carried out since 1984. EU officials have warned that restoration of the death penalty could spell an end to Turkey's talks to join the bloc.

"If there is an agreement on capital punishment, there could be a limited measure. We will not close our ears to the demands of the people," Yildirim said in a speech to members of his ruling AK Party in parliament.

He said the move would require compromise because it would mean changing the constitution. He did not say what kind of compromise he envisaged.

Turkey formally abandoned the death penalty in 2002.
"We want it to be known that this won't be done by us alone and the measure would not apply retroactively." This appeared to mean it would not be applied to crimes alleged to have taken place during the July 15 attempted coup.

The AKP has completed work on a package of proposals to change the constitution and create an executive presidency, something Erdogan has long sought. It is not clear whether a proposal on capital punishment is also part of that package.

The ruling party will require the support of the nationalist opposition for any plans to change the constitution, Yildirim said. Any constitutional change requires the support of at least 367 deputies in the 550-seat assembly to pass directly, and of 330 deputies to go to a referendum.

The AKP has 317 seats and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the smallest of the 4 parties in parliament, has 40.

MHP leader Devlet Bahceli on Tuesday voiced support for the death penalty, but said he would need to see details of the AKP's proposal.

"Since there is a need for capital punishment, bring your proposals and let's show these traitors how small the world is to them," he told his party, according to a text of his remarks.

"We will first see the AKP's proposal, then evaluate it and make a decision."

Source: Reuters, November 1, 2016

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