EU countries react against assertions on a possible referendum in Turkey on death penalty

08.05.2017 11:58 BİRGÜN DAİLY

As Turkey’s president Erdoğan asserted possibility of a referendum in Turkey over reinstatement of death penalty, European countries have begun to make their stand clear on the issue.

Erdoğan’s previous statements about his support for capital punishment to be reintroduced in Turkey had already received prompt and firm reaction from EU countries. Several EU leaders warned that such move would automatically terminate Turkey’s EU bid, which has already been severely stalled especially since the crackdown to Turkey’s government in response to failed coup attempt of 2016 reached a level of major violations of rights.

In reaction to Erdoğan’s most recent statements, officials of Germany, Austria, Holland, and Belgium have already expressed their objections to opening of polling sites in their countries for citizens of Turkey to vote on ‘something that is fundamentally and lawfully against EU principles.’

Belgian PM Michel said, during an interview with RTBF, that his country will be examining ‘the legal ways to block a possible referendum on death penalty to be held in their territories for the citizens of Turkey.’
Giving statements to AD newspaper, Holland’s foreign affairs minister Bert Koenders had also mentioned that it would be ‘against EU values.’

In a statement given on Friday (May 5), Germany’s government spokesperson Steffen Seibert also said ‘it would be unacceptable to think about a polling on death penalty to take place in Germany since it is against both the country’s constitution and the EU values.’

Though Turkey does not have any official request for such thing yet, president Erdoğan has been repeatedly mentioning the issue. In reaction, EU leaders pointed out that it would not be possible and that they would seek legal ways to block it.