Reinstating the death penalty, next step in repression unleashed by Erdogan
Although the Turkish president denies wanting to take advantage of the situation, there seems to be no end to the wave of arrests taking place, as well as thousands of military and police officers, generals and judges. In this regard, experts from the Council of Europe yesterday stated that "mass arrests and referrals of judges are not an acceptable means to restore democracy".
Ankara (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The reintroduction of the death penalty is the next target of the repression unleashed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the aftermath of the attempted coup. On several occasions, "the sultan" has in fact said that the death penalty will return "if the people demand it," repeating this morning in an impromptu speech to a group of his supporters gathered outside from the presidential palace, "you cannot ignore what the people demand".
"Today - he continued - Today is there no capital punishment in America? In Russia? In China? In countries around the world? Only in European Union countries is there no capital punishment". In fact there have been many voices raised in Europe, calling on Erdogan not to reintroduce the death penalty that Turkey abolished in 2004, as part of the process for entry into the EU. They were joined by the US Secretary of State John Kerry, after a meeting with EU foreign ministers, who said: "we also urge the government of Turkey to uphold the highest standards of respect for the nation's democratic institutions and the rule of law ".
Yesterday the Turkish president also denied he was taking advantage of the attempted coup to eliminate all forms of opposition and push through the presidential reform which he has long desired. Erdogan has termed such criticism as "libel", adding " If Tayyip Erdogan was an oppressive figure, he wouldn't have won 52% of the vote at the presidential elections".
Beyond his statements, there seems to be no end to the wave of arrests that is taking place, as well as thousands of military and police officers, generals and three thousand judges. In this regard, experts from the Council of Europe yesterday stated that "mass arrests and referrals of judges are not an acceptable means to restore democracy". "Like any citizen, any judge is entitled to a fair procedure - disciplinary and / or criminal - during which his responsibility must be duly proven and his right to defense respected," read a statement released by Gianni Buquicchio, President of the Venice Commission, an advisory body of constitutional experts of the Council of Europe.
Erdogan ultimately appears determined to use this opportunity to eliminate all those who in one way or another, are considered to support Fethullah Gulen positions, the cleric who is a former ally of the president but today his main opponent. Erdogan has again asked the United States, where Gulen currently lives, to extradite him to Turkey, accusing him of being the mastermind of the failed coup. Turkey, Kerry replied, "must provide evidence, not charges".