Bahçeli challenges PM on death penalty
MHP preserves its determination on death penalty, Bahçeli says. Selahattin Sönmez, DAILY NEWS photoHighlighting that his party had opposed abolishing the death penalty from the very beginning, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli yesterday called on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to speak with deeds but not words if he wants to reinstate the death penalty.
Bahçeli, addressing his parliamentary group, revisited developments in 2002 when the death penalty was abolished as part of the EU membership process and recalled how the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) supported the abolishment.
Erdoğan’s recent remarks on bringing back capital punishment are nothing but “slyness and guile,” Bahçeli said, asking him to rapidly introduce the necessary legal arrangements to Parliament for reinstating the death penalty.
“On this issue, the MHP, as it did yesterday and also today, will preserve its same determination and provide bringing back the death penalty all kinds of support until the end. We say [to Erdoğan], let me see if you can,” he said.
Since Nov. 3, when he said the Turkish public wanted the death penalty to be reinstated so that Abdullah Öcalan – the imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) – could be executed, bringing back capital punishment has been on Erdoğan’s agenda, although Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said on Nov. 5 that plans to reinstate capital punishment are not on Turkey’s agenda. Öcalan was captured by Turkish agents in Nairobi, brought back to Turkey and sentenced to death in 1999.