Turkish politician to rally support for death penalty

By Muhammet Emin Avundukluoglu

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey's Grand Unity Party (BBP) leader said Wednesday that they will ask political parties to support the death penalty.

"If they support it, the issue would be decided through a plebiscite; if they do not support it, the decision rests with the parliament," Mustafa Destici told reporters in the parliament.

Destici claimed that the death penalty would be approved "even if the plebiscite threshold is 70 percent".

According to Turkish law, the threshold for a plebiscite is fixed at 50 percent.

"We do politics on behalf of the nation. You say 'nation' for other issues, but, as far as death penalty is concerned, you say 'the West, EU'. It is not acceptable," he said.

Speaking on the issue, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly said he would approve the law if it is passed in the parliament.

Turkey abolished the death penalty in 2004 amid its EU membership bid.