Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan thanks his supporters after a speech at the Democracy and Martyrs' Rally in Istanbul, Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016. Turkey will continue fighting whatever powers seek to undermine the government, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed Sunday as he addressed a massive flag-waving rally in Istanbul in the wake of the country’s abortive July 15 coup. (Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Press Service via AP)
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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues to respond to calls from his supporters for the plotters of the July 15 attempted coup to receive the ultimate punishment, and he is signaling his keenness on seeing the death penalty reinstated in Turkey. It is not clear, though, whether he is doing this for its own sake or if he is using the topic to increase his support base as the debate on changing Turkey from a parliamentary system to an executive presidencygathers steams. Turkey, a Council of Europe member and a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights, abolished the death penalty in 2002, except in times of war. It subsequently abolished it in times of war in 2003, under Erdogan as prime minister, which is ironic from today’s perspective.

 

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