Turkey abolished the death penalty in 2004 as part of a campaign for EU membership. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said he will approve its reinstatement if parliament submits such a proposal or if the measure is backed in a referendum.
“I am not of the opinion that the accession negotiations with Turkey should be stopped now,” Juncker said in Berlin during a debate with students about the future of Europe.
On 9 May German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that Turks living in Germany would not be allowed to vote in any referendum on reinstating the death penalty.
Capital punishment is associated with a very strict practice of Sharia law. Following the 15 June 2016 failed coup d’état, Islamists close to Erdogan wanted the alleged perpetrators to be hanged. Erdogan also calls his political enemies, and the terrorism offence is also likely to be punished by death.