Erdoğan ally far-right MHP leader calls for reinstatement of death penalty

The leader of Turkey’s far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) said on Wednesday that Turkey should bring back the death penalty, citing its deterrent effect.

While the MHP, ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) junior coalition partner, is not an eager advocate of the death penalty, reintroducing it would play are role in preventing “disgusting and primitive” crimes, Bahçeli said in a written statement published on the MHP website.

“It is evident that there is no other option in terms of its success in battling crime and criminals, who have surpassed the threshold of fear,” the MHP leader said.

Bahçeli referred specifically to the reintroduction of the penalty for sexual offences against children and “attempting to overthrow the constitutional order by force and violence.”

Turkey abolished the death penalty in 2004 as part of its bid to joining the EU, with the MHP under Bahçeli’s leadership voting in favour of abolition.

The European Union has warned Ankara that the reinstatement of the penalty would mean the end of the country’s’ EU accession.

President Recap Tayyip Erdoğan last year vowed to approve legislation calling for the reinstatement of the penalty if parliament passes it.