Turkey's main right-wing party supports reinstating death penalty

Turkey's main right-wing party on Tuesday threw its support behind reinstating the death penalty, despite international warnings that such a move could isolate Turkey as it responds to this weekend's failed coup attempt.

The leader of the National Movement Party (MHP), Devlet Bahceli, said that if Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) were ready to put forth a constitutional measure, then MHP would back it.

Together, both parties would have enough votes to call a referendum on bringing back Turkey's death penalty, which was abolished in 2004. The referendum would need only a simple voter majority to pass.

Erdogan had said on Monday in his first interview since the putsch attempt that he and legislators would discuss reviving the death penalty, saying that he would "approve any decision [on the issue] to come out of the parliament."

Iran on Tuesday also came out in support of Erdogan, with President Hassan Rowhani saying: "We have always stood fully behind the legitimate government in Turkey and will continue to do so."

Reinstituting capital punishment would be diplomatically troubling to many of Turkey's Western allies. The EU, which Turkey has sought to join since 1999, does not allow the death penalty.

Members of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee met Tuesday to discuss the coup attempt, after EU foreign ministers in Brussels had issued a joint statement Monday calling on Turkish authorities to show "restraint," adding that "all must be done to avoid further violence ... and to restore calm."

Last update: Tue, 19/07/2016 - 11:43
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