No plans to bring death penalty back
Plans to reinstate capital punishment are not on Turkey’s agenda, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç says in a debate sparked by PM Erdoğan. AA PhotoPlans to reinstate capital punishment are not on Turkey’s agenda, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said yesterday, clearing the air after the prime minister’s recent remarks that the majority in Turkey demanded the practice be brought back.
“Our prime minister’s remarks show that there’s an expectation among the public to put the death penalty back [in our laws]. But [reintroducing the death penalty] is not our government’s decision, nor our Parliament’s, nor our parliamentary group’s decision,” Arınç said while answering questions in Ankara yesterday.
Arınç said the people’s demand for the death penalty to be brought back came in response to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) alleged targeting of innocent victims and a poll conducted by the Great Unity Party (BBP), which supports the death penalty.
“However, this is not an issue our government or our Parliament wants to introduce today. As you remember, 10 years have passed since the death penalty was abolished. The only justifiable reason to say ‘We need this law again’ is the escalation in terror and bloodshed of innocent people. I think this expectation will be met in another way,” Arınç said.
Speaking at the annual meeting of his Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Nov. 3, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan 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.
“The terrorists’ head, who has caused the deaths of tens of thousands of people, was given the death penalty... And the interesting thing is that a majority of our people want to bring back the death penalty because the relatives of those killed are in pain but the other one [Öcalan] is not in pain,” Erdoğan said.