June 12, 2018 / 04:20 PM
Erdogan says welcomes death penalty for Demirtas

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at a Sunday rally that he would have approved reinstatement of capital punishment for jailed pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtas if the parliament passed had such legislation, the T24 news website reported.

Erdogan made the remarks in response to a crowd calling for Demirtas’s execution, accusing the presidential candidate of responsibility for the deaths of 53 people during street protests in 2014.

 “This man [Demirtas] is under arrest now? Yes, that’s all. Indeed, the judiciary must make its decision as soon as possible,” Erdogan told the crowd during an election rally in Kocaeli on Sunday.

 “As I said before, if parliament has had voted to bring back the death penalty, I would have approved it immediately,” Erdogan replied.

Refusing calls for Demirtas’s release to enable a fair presidential election, Erdogan in the eastern province of Adiyaman said on June 1: “Who are you releasing? The person in jail [Demirtas] has the blood of 53 citizens on his hands.”

Reporter’s code: 50101