Turkey might re-introduce the death penalty to deal with coup plotters

Crowds in Ankara on the night of the coup attempt. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the death penalty might be re-introduced to deal with the instigators of the failed coup on the government.

At least 250 died and over 1,100 people were injured during a violent uprising that started on Friday evening in Turkey. A part of the Turkish army attempted to stage a coup that was eventually thwarted.

Government forces have detained almost 3000 people deemed to have participated in the coup, according to AFP, and nobody yet knows what will happen to the detained.

Witnesses reported seeing supporters of Erdogan attacking a group of soldiers who had surrendered after taking part in the coup, before police intervened to rescue them, Reuters reports.

During the night, Erdogan had repeatedly urged his supporters to take to the streets to help put down the coup.

When asked whether the death penalty — which is not in the constitution — would be an option, Yildirim said that the government would consider legal changes, the Guardian reports.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has already promised that those who committed the “act of treason” would have to “pay a heavy price.”

He also said the coup was an opportunity to “purge the military” from mutineers, whom he accuses of being followers of cleric Fethullah Gulen who is in exile and lives in the United States. Gulen enjoys support from the judiciary and military in Turkey and Erdogan has long said that he was trying to overthrow the government.

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