Turkish President Recep Erdogan, on Tuesday during a controversial interview in Berlin justified the reintroduction of the controversial death penalty as the will of the people.
Erdogan, who has been conducting a sweeping purge of suspected sympathisers of the attempted coup on July 15 to 16, also slammed the European leaders as insincere.
He justified the death penalty, saying that government’s attempt to reintroduce it was in line with the will of the Turkish people and that the punishment existed “almost everywhere” except Europe.
“If we are in a democratic state of law, the people decide, and what are the people saying today, they want the death penalty to be reintroduced.
“Europe is the only place where there is no death penalty. It exists almost everywhere else,” he said.
The president also accused the European leaders of insincerity for failing to uphold their commitments in a deal to stop migrants from entering Europe.
Erdogan said the European Union had transferred up to 2 million euros (2.2 million dollars) of the 3 billion euros it promised to Ankara in exchange for the return of migrants to Turkey.
The Turkish leader also said that the EU had failed to follow through on its pledge to lift visa requirements for Turkish citizens.
Meanwhile, the interview has been widely derided by German editorialists as a PR coup for Erdogan.
An editorial in the conservative newspaper noted that “The ARD’s “feeble” interview questions resulted in a “guaranteed PR coup” for Erdogan, whose “supporters in Germany will be delighted at how well the Turkish president was able to sell himself.
Another paper noted that “one gets the impression that the interviewer handled Erdogan with kid gloves. That’s no way to get to someone like Erdogan.’’ (dpa/NAN)
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