Turkey EU minister refuses return of death penalty
The murder of a 20-year-old female student awakened debates of the abolished death penalty Monday. (AFP/File)
Personal feelings and the reactions of a state should be separate, Turkey's EU affairs minister said Monday regarding the murder of a 20-year-old female university student in the southern province of Mersin.
Discussions of a death sentence came into the spotlight, after the murder of Ozgecan Aslan, who was killed and burned after reportedly resisting sexual assault in Mersin's Tarsus district on February 13.
"When considering the death penalty, I think it would be necessary to assess the issue in a much more healthy environment rather the mentality we are in currently," said Volkan Bozkir in Ankara.
However, Bozkir added "If something like this happened to my daughter, I would take a weapon and give the punishment myself and then bear the penalty, but states should not react this way."
He said killing people is not right for states. The states' job is to arrest the guilty and give them the most severe punishment they deserve. States must act within the framework of justice toward everyone.
"I think the implementation of aggravated life imprisonment would be more appropriate instead of the death penalty for such crimes," added Bozkir.
Turkey abolished capital punishment in 2004 and replaced it with aggravated life imprisonment.
Expressing his deep sorrow over Ozgecan’s killing both as a human and as a father, Bozkir also extended his condolences to her family.
Aslan went missing on Wednesday; her charred body was found in a riverbed on February 13. Three suspects were arrested on February 15 in connection with the murder that has shocked the country.