EU remains against death penalty in Turkey

EU remains against death penalty in Turkey

Sevil Erkuş ANKARA
EU remains against death penalty in Turkey

AA Photo

As the brutal murder of Özgecan Aslan has raised the debate on increasing penalties for such crimes, with some ministers saying the reintroduction of the death penalty could come onto the agenda, the EU has stated that it “remains against death penalty.”

“The EU is saddened by the terrible death and suffering of young student Ozgecan Aslan. It is crucial that the perpetrator and his accomplices are swiftly tried and punished for their crimes, in accordance with Turkish law,” EU diplomatic sources told the Hürriyet Daily News.

“We have no comment to make specifically on statements made by public figures about reintroducing the death penalty in Turkey, as no official proposal has been tabled. The EU remains firmly against the death penalty,” they added.

The death penalty in Turkey was abolished in peacetime in 2002, under reforms aimed at EU membership, by a three-party coalition government led by the Democratic Left Party (DSP). Coalition partner the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) did not block the government in going ahead with the proposal, but did vote against it at parliament.

Apart from the MHP, the votes of all parties represented at parliament were split between “yes” and “no.” Current President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan - at the time the head of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), which was only one-year-old and had only 59 seats - was absent during the vote as he was not yet a lawmaker.

The abolition of capital punishment is a pre-condition for EU entry, and it was abolished totally in Turkey in 2004, two years after Erdoğan’s AKP came to power.