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Iran Press TV

Turkey mulls 'limited' death penalty reinstatement: PM

Iran Press TV

Tue Nov 1, 2016 5:41PM

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says his country is considering bringing back "limited" use of the death penalty in the case of a political compromise on the issue.

"If there is an agreement on capital punishment, there could be a limited measure. We will not close our ears to the demands of the people," Yildirim said in a speech to members of his ruling Justice and Development Party at the parliament in Ankara on Tuesday.

He further noted that the measure would not be used "retroactively" but did not elaborate further on the subject.

Turkey abolished capital punishment in 2004 as part of its reforms to join the European Union (EU).

However, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Saturday that his government would soon ask the parliament to consider reintroducing the death penalty as a punishment for those behind the abortive July 15 military coup.

Erdogan emphasized that he would ratify such a bill if the legislature voted for it.

The comments provoked angry reactions, with the Council of Europe denouncing the reinstatement of the death penalty as "incompatible with membership" of the organization.

We don't care about your red line: Turkey to EU

Elsewhere in his Tuesday's speech, Yildirim dismissed the EU's criticism on press freedom following the detention of journalists from the opposition daily Cumhuriyet.

At least 12 Cumhuriyet journalists and executives were arrested on Monday on suspicion of having alleged links to the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

The president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, said on Twitter that detention of Cumhuriyet editor-in-chief Murat Sabuncu and other journalists "is yet another red line crossed against freedom of expression in Turkey."

He further warned that the "ongoing massive purge" in Turkey seems to be "motivated by political considerations, rather than legal and security rationale".

The Turkish premier, however, rejected the brickbats, saying, "Someone from the European Parliament said: 'Regarding this newspaper's detentions, this is our red line'. Brother, forget your line, ... we have no regard for your red line. The people will choose the red line, the people! Upon your line, we will draw a line ourselves. Leave this alone!"

The coup in Turkey began when a faction of the military declared it was in control of the country and the government of Erdogan was no more in charge.

Tanks, helicopters, and soldiers clashed with police and people on the streets of Ankara and Istanbul. Over 240 people were killed on all sides in the attempted coup d'état.

Ankara blames Gulen for orchestrating the failed putsch, but the cleric denies the accusation.

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