Turkey’s Erdoğan says removing death penalty was ‘wrong’
“We have done wrong by removing the death penalty. It offends me to feed those in prison, those who martyred 251 of our citizens, police officers and soldiers on the night of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt, even though they are serving life sentences,” Erdoğan said on March 19 at a rally for the upcoming local elections in the northern province of Zonguldak.
“I have been saying this all the time, if parliament passes such legislation, I will approve it,” he added.
Erdoğan also called on New Zealand to hand down a “proper punishment” to the white supremacist, identified as Brenton Tarrant, who claimed 50 lives in two Christchurch mosques.
“You have nefariously, perfidiously and vulgarly killed 50 of our praying brothers. You will pay for this. If New Zealand fails to do so, one way or another, we will make you pay for it,” he said, referring to Tarrant.
The president even said he would “argue relentlessly with New Zealand’s administration” concerning the attacker’s punishment.
Erdoğan once again recalled Tarrant’s statements about Turkey in his manifesto, in which the shooter said he wanted to drive Turks out of the country’s northwest into the Asian part, and the symbols drawn on the rifle he used to carry out the attack.
“Even the expressions in this terrorist’s gun are like a confession made about the games played on our country. So what? We are not supposed to cross to the European side of Istanbul? Who are you to say this?” he stressed.
Erdoğan also blamed Anzac troops for fighting in the Gallipoli War in WWI.
“You came to Gallipoli from 16,500 kilometers away, what were you doing here? You showed up from Australia. After all these years, they still have hatred against us,” he said.
The only reason is we are Muslims, they are Christians. Their aim is the same as those who are trying to form a terror corridor along our borders,” he added.
European countries are being insincere, the president said, adding that terrorism is still ongoing in France, the U.K., and Netherlands.
“They are paying a price because they are insincere. We are telling them that we should fight against terrorism altogether,” he said.