Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that he believes the government should submit a draft on reinstating the death penalty in the event that the constitutional amendments are approved in the upcoming referendum on April 16.
“After April 16, with God’s permission, the draft would be brought to Parliament. If it passes in Parliament, I will approve it,” Erdogan said at a rally in the eastern province of Erzurum on Wednesday.
Debates on reinstating the capital punishment were brought to discussion after the July 15, 2016, coup attempt. Erdogan vows the people’s demand for the death penalty would be met. Calls for the death penalty were among the most recited chants in public rallies.
“April 16 will be the day to decide that,” he said.
Erdogan said the reinstatement of the death penalty could be brought onto the agenda with a consensus of all political parties.
“Mr Kemal Kilicdaroglu [leader of the Republican People’s Party – CHP] says he would approve it. I hope he will not deny it when time comes. Mr Devlet Bahceli, [leader of the Nationalist Movement Party – MHP] already said yes. And Mr. Binali Yildirim [Prime Minister] is in agreement,” he said, adding that it would be put to a referendum if it gets approved in Parliament.
“To reinstate the death penalty there needs to be a constitutional amendment, but in an event that the Parliament does not approve that, I am telling now, we will appeal to the public with a referendum just like we did for April 16. Let the public decide,” Erdogan said.