By Emin Avundukluoglu
The leader of one of Turkey’s main opposition parties said Tuesday that Turkey should bring back the death penalty without delay.
Speaking to his Nationalist Movement Party's (MHP) parliamentary group meeting, Devlet Bahceli called for the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party to immediately bring a bill to reinstate capital punishment to parliament.
"Is capital punishment a social request? Yes. Is the Justice and Development Party supporting it? Yes. Has the president said that he would sign it when it is ratified by parliament? Yes," said Bahceli.
"In this case, we should no longer wait for it, we should not delay. Let us show everyone that Turkey can take its own matters into own hands," he stressed.
In recent months President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly spoken of reinstating capital punishment, especially in the context of the plotters of last year’s defeated coup.
Turkey abolished the death penalty in 2004, amid its EU membership bid.
The European Union has repeatedly warned that reinstatement would mean the end of Turkey’ EU accession, but Erdogan has brushed off those warnings.
Capital punishment is banned in all EU countries.
The call to resume the death penalty surfaced in the wake of last July’s attempted coup, and Erdogan, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, and Bahceli have said they would support such a move.
‘EU values’ and terrorism
Bahceli also slammed some EU states for saying they would not allow voting in a possible death penalty referendum to take place on their soil while also turning a blind eye to terrorist groups operating in their countries.
He said: "Is supporting the terrorist organization part of EU values? Is a hands-off approach to PKK and FETO terrorists written in EU values?"
"I repeat it, and I resolutely state it once again. The MHP is here with all of its power to reinstate capital punishment, and waiting for the end of this debate," Bahceli said.
Bahceli's remarks followed reports that Germany has been approving the asylum requests of Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) terrorists since last summer's deadly coup attempt.
In recent years there have been many cases of the PKK or its supporters being allowed to hold marches, set up camps, and operate television stations in Europe.
According to Turkey’s government, FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated last July’s defeated coup, which left 249 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU. During its over 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, more than 40,000 people have lost their lives.
Since the group resumed its armed campaign in July 2015, more than 1,200 people, including security personnel and civilians, have lost their lives.