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16 April 2014, Wednesday
 
 
Today's Zaman
 
 
 
 

Schulz: Return to death penalty would be step back in EU-Turkish relations

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EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT MARTIN SCHULZ (PHOTO: EPA)
14 November 2012, Wednesday /SELÇUK GÜLTAŞLI
European Parliament President Martin Schulz has expressed surprise and concern over a declaration by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that Turkey may discuss bringing back the death penalty and added that a step toward the death penalty would be a step back in every sense, including in relations between Turkey and the EU.

“I was both surprised and concerned at reading that Prime Minister Erdoğan has floated the possibility of reinstating capital punishment for some crimes. This would be a step back in every sense: It would be a step back in Turkish history, a step back in EU-Turkey relations and a step back for human rights in the country. I hope this idea will be swiftly abandoned,” read a statement sent by Schulz exclusively to Today's Zaman.

Erdoğan said publicly over the weekend that Turkey may discuss reinstating capital punishment in cases of acts of terrorism and murder.

According to Schulz, opposition to the death penalty is one of the strongest unifying values among the citizens of the European Union. “No matter how heinous a crime can be, it cannot be put right with more death,” he said, adding, “The strong stance of European citizens against the death penalty is anchored on the firm conviction that it does not provide, in any circumstance, for just punishment, deterrence or redress.”

Turkey is struggling in its bid to become a full member of the EU. It abolished the capital punishment for all circumstances in 2004 as part of this bid. Abolition of the death penalty is a pre-condition for membership in the 27-nation bloc.

Erdoğan's remarks regarding the possible reinstatement of capital punishment have drawn the ire of the EU and the European Parliament. Hannes Swoboda, head of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, offered a harsh response to the remarks, which he defined as “scandalous and provocative.” Peter Stano, a spokesperson for EU Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Füle, spoke out against the death penalty, too, saying the global abolition of capital punishment is one of the main objectives of the EU's human rights policy.

 
 
COMMENTS
While Martin Schulz is comfortably sitting on his toilet most likely Made In China using his IPhone also Made In China reading the latest news they are executing people in the Chinese capital! Next time Martin Schulz visits the USA please spare a thought for those prisoners on death role Hypocrite. ...
LEVENT
IF MARTIN SCHULZ HAS ANYTHING IN HIS OFFICE OR HOME MADE IN THE USA OR CHINA HE NEEDS TO SHUT HIS BIG HYPOCRITE MOUTH AND STOP POKING HIS BIG NOSE IN TURKISH AFFAIRS. 
LEVENT
Of course Turkey is free to implement death penalty. But then also has to realize that one is always perceived and treated in such a way one acts. A death penalty will certainly have negative consequences for the EU negotiations and for our international image, but if the government is willing to ac...
Douib
@the_tiger, kindly identify yourself either as a robot devoid of any humanoid feelings or a racist human without any compassion for others! If Turkey were a democratic country there would be press freedom, at least, comparable to the press freedom enjoyed by Palestinians under Israeli occupation, th...
David
Ararat, Wow! At least an Armenian nationalist is being honest once about Erdogan and your comment prooves that the people of Turkey need to wake up, overthrow Erdogan and put someone who is more civil to become Turkey's prime minister. (Note/ the only smart AKP official is Abdullah Gul). (Bagis, Dav...
Alevi Guy
If Turkey brings back the death penalty and applies the law equally and unbiased, the very first victim of the death penalty will be Erdogan himself. He is the real terrorist.
Ararat
@Raffi and @Mehmet: did the EU asked Turkey gto join? NO. Did Turkey wanted to join the EU? YES. Did Turkey agreed on Copenhagen criteria to join? YES. Do Turkey receive billions in € to make their laws compatible with EU? YES. Is the death penalty acceptable for EU membership: NO and Turkey knows t...
Johan
@Mehmet, one has to be careful of what goes around, comes around. In his old age Mr Erdogan may be put on trial for denying Kurdish citizens freedom and equality and for terrorizing them. He, too, may face the death penalty as improbable as it may seem today. Who would have thought that the leader o...
Aziz
@Raffi, if you and I want to join a club or an association, we will be required to meet certain criteria. If Turkey wants to join the EU, then Turkey must meet the entry requirements. Therefore, the EU has every right to say to Turkish leaders you need to do this and that to qualify. Simple really.
Baran
armenian ararat, you dont have to like turks but you are making here an ethnocentrism, we are one of the main and strong country of nato, we never step up with eu from the beginning just because of them, we turks dont wanna enter eu anymore, they do take you inside the union and it doesnt take much ...
the_tiger
NO country have the right to say what Turkey can do and can't do, not even Europe.
Raffi
Or maybe the EU should stop dictating what other countries do with their criminals. Turkey is a great nation, and it shouldn't be forced to change for the sake of some Eurocrats' pet moral project. If the crime is bad enough, death is warranted.
Mehmet
I love it, the more Erdogan talks the more enemies he makes. He is like a gift that keeps on giving. I hope he can run for another term. We need him to keep Turkey out of Europe and close to Hamas. If this goes on, hopefully Turkey will be kicked out of NATO and it will become a sitting duck. That i...
Ararat
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