Turkish ultra-nationalist MHP voices support for death penalty
The issue of bringing back the death penalty has resurfaced since Turkey's July coup attempt. (AFP/File)
The opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on Tuesday said it was ready to reinstate the death penalty in Turkey.
Leader Devlet Bahceli said his party -- the smallest in parliament with 40 seats -- would support the Justice and Development (AK) Party government in bringing back the punishment.
“If the death penalty is needed, if our nation wants that -- in this case there is no need for pretext, to hide the main objective, to discuss it unnecessarily,” he said in televised comments to MHP members at parliament.
“If the AK Party is ready, the MHP is more than willing to do that.”
The issue of the death penalty, which was last used in Turkey in 1984 and outlawed in 2004, has risen to prominence since the July 15 coup attempt. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and government ministers have expressed their support for its return.
“No worries, it is [coming] sometime soon,” the president said on Sunday. “The government will submit it [a bill] to parliament, which I believe will pass it.”
To introduce a referendum on the issue, the government, which has 316 parliamentary deputies, would need the support of at least 14 other lawmakers.
Bahceli called on Prime Minister Binali Yildirim to submit a death penalty bill to parliament soon. “Let's get it done, let’s pay people back who treat our nation and state as an enemy,” he said.
He said the penalty should be imposed for terrorism and war crimes.
In a warning to European leaders who have cautioned Turkey against the return of the death penalty, Bahceli added: “EU commissioners should mind their own business. The only authority we will take advice from is the Turkish nation. Turkey is not governed from Brussels but from the Turkish parliament.”