Is Erdogan really serious about bringing back death penalty?

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues to respond to calls from his supporters for the plotters of the July 15 attempted coup to receive the ultimate punishment, and he is signaling his keenness on seeing the death penalty reinstated in Turkey.

It is not clear, though, whether he is doing this for its own sake or if he is using the topic to increase his support base as the debate on changing Turkey from a parliamentary system to an executive presidency gathers steams.

Turkey, a Council of Europe member and a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights, abolished the death penalty in 2002, except in times of war. It subsequently abolished it in times of war in 2003, under Erdogan as prime minister, which is ironic from today’s perspective.

Responding to supporters chanting “We want the death penalty” during the Oct. 29 inauguration of Ankara’s new fast-speed-train station, Erdogan said, “It is close, God willing. Don’t worry.”

 

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