Reinstating death penalty not on Justice Ministry’s agenda: Minister
Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin. AA Photo
Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin has insisted that his ministry has no intention of reinstating the death penalty despite strong suggestions by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that capital punishment could return to Turkey.
Ergin’s remarks came late yesterday in response to questions from deputies during deliberations over the Justice Ministry’s 2013 budget at Parliament’s Planning and Budget Commission.
“At the moment, there is no study at our ministry on this direction,” Ergin said when asked whether his ministry had been working on reinstating death penalty.
“Yes, it is being discussed by the public, and Mr. Prime Minister mentioned it, but at the moment, such a study by our ministry is out of the question,” Ergin said.
Erdoğan said Nov. 3 that the Turkish public wanted the death penalty reinstated so that Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), could be executed. Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç insisted two days later that bringing back executions was not on Turkey’s agenda.
Erdoğan mentioned the issue again on Nov. 11, but did not touch on the matter during his weekly address to his parliamentary group yesterday. Ergin’s remarks came hours after the parliamentary group meeting.