In Turkey, Defiant Erdogan Attacks EU, Promises to Bring Back Death Penalty — “Turkey Will Behead Traitors”

ANKARA/ISTANBUL — A defiant President Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday stepped up his attack on the European Union, saying Turkey had to go its own way and vowing to bring back the death penalty if parliament passes it.

tayyip erdogan news, world news, indian express news, latest news

Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan. (Source: Reuters)

Erdogan, who was at the opening ceremony for a memorial dedicated to the roughly 250 people who died during last year’s failed coup, accused Brussels of “messing about” with Turkey’s decades-long bid to join the bloc.

The speech, in front of the presidential palace in Ankara in the early hours of Sunday, wound up a marathon session of public appearances by Erdogan in both the capital and Istanbul to mark the anniversary of last year’s failed coup.

“The stance of the European Union is clear to see… 54 years have passed and they are still messing us about,” he said, citing what he said was Brussels’ failure to keep promises on everything from a visa deal to aid for Syrian migrants.

“We will sort things out for ourselves, there’s no other option.”

Ties with Europe were strained after the coup, given the West’s alarm about the scale of the government crackdown that followed. Some 150,000 people have been sacked or suspended from their jobs and more than 50,000 detained on suspicion of links to the U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara blames for the attempted putsch.

He also said he would approve, “without hesitation” the death penalty, if parliament voted to bring it back — a move that would effectively end Turkey’s bid to join the European Union.

“I don’t look at what Hans and George say. I look at what Ahmet, Mehmet, Hasan, Huseyin, Ayse, Fatma and Hatice say,” he said, to cheers from a flag-waving crowd.

Erdogan, the most popular and divisive politician in recent Turkish history, sees himself as the liberator of pious millions who were deprived for decades of their rights and welfare by Turkey’s secular elite.

‘RIP THE HEADS OFF’

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said the EU remained committed to dialogue with Turkey and called on Ankara to strengthen democracy and the rule of law. He also warned against reinstating the death penalty.

“One year after the attempted coup, Europe’s hand remains outstretched,” Juncker wrote in Germany’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

“If Turkey were to introduce the death penalty, the Turkish government would finally slam the door to EU membership.”

Addressing a crowd of hundreds of thousands in Istanbul on Saturday evening, Erdogan promised violent retribution against Turkey’s enemies, including FETO – his term for Gulen’s network – and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

“We know who is behind FETO, the PKK and all of them,” he said. “We cannot defeat the queen, king, or sheikhs without defeating the pawns, knights and castles. Firstly, we will rip the heads off of these traitors.”

He also said that alleged members of Gulen’s network would be forced to wear jumpsuits like those worn by prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, after one detainee showed up to a court hearing wearing a T-shirt that said “Hero”.

(Additional reporting by Michael Nienaber in Berlin; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Keith Weir)

*************************************

Turkey Will Behead Traitors

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that Turkey would cut off the heads of traitors. He was addressing a function to mark the first anniversary of failed coup in Istanbul. In the speech, Erdogan reiterated his support for reinstating the death penalty. Erdogan said that the people who are trialed for attempting a coup should be given a standard uniform “like in Guantanamo“ and warned that Turkey would “cut the heads off” people who tried to disturb the balance of the country.

“The most powerful weapons were mercilessly used by the enemies of our nation,” he said. “Our people only had the flag and faith.” The problem in Turkey has become even more complicated. It involves dissidents and even opposition politicians. Tens of thousands of people have been dismissed or detained from the civil service, police, military, judiciary, media and academia, and rights activists have been repeatedly detained. The government has sacked an additional 7,000 people, and more than 150 journalists are in prison.

A number of commemorative events took place around Istanbul, Ankara and other big cities to mark the anniversary of the coup.

On 15 July 2016, a coup was attempted in Turkey against state institutions, including, but not limited to the government and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The attempt was carried out by a faction within the Turkish Armed Forces that organized themselves as the Peace at Home Council.

They attempted to seize control of several key places in Ankara, Istanbul, and elsewhere, but failed to do so after forces loyal to the state defeated them. Roughly 250 people were killed and more than 2,000 others were injured. Thirty-five coup organizers were also killed.

The government accused the coup leaders of being linked to the Gülen movement, which is designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey and led by Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish businessman and cleric who lives in Pennsylvania. Erdogan accuses Gülen of being behind the coup—a claim that Gülen denies—and accused the United States of harbouring him.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warns to cut off heads of traitors

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: