Turkey′s Erdogan vows talks on death penalty for coup plotters | News | DW | 17.07.2016
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Turkey's Erdogan vows talks on death penalty for coup plotters

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he'll discuss the possibility of capital punishment for those involved in an attempted coup against his government. Meanwhile, shots have been fired at an Istanbul airport.

Erdogan said on Sunday there could be no delay in the use of the death penalty after a failed coup attempt, adding that the government would discuss the reinstatement of capital punishment with opposition parties.

The president, who had attended funerals of some of those killed resisting the coup, made his comments in front of a large crowd, with his speech punctuated by calls of "We want the death penalty."

"We hear your request," said Erdogan to the crowd gathered outside his home in Istanbul. "In a democracy, whatever the people want they will get. We cannot ignore this demand."

"We will not delay this decision for long. Because those who attempt a coup in this country must pay."

Erdogan said the government would be in contact with Turkey's opposition parties to reach a position on capital punishment.

Turkey has not executed anyone since 1984 and formally abolished capital punishment in 2004 as part of its efforts to join the European Union.

Hours after the coup was defeated, parliament convened in Ankara on Saturday in a rare show of unity across party lines.

Further arrests made

The opposition, which is often targeted by the government, called for a strengthening of democracy, with Erdogan accused of becoming increasingly authoritarian in his more than 13 years in power. Erdogan accuses the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen of instigating the coup, although Gulen denies this.

Clashes continued on Sunday, with some 6,000 people having been detained since the coup attempt on Friday night. About 70 generals and admirals were detained, the Anadolu Agency added, as the authorities cracked down on suspected backers the putsch.

There were also clashes between security forces and rebels at a Turkish air base in the central city of Konya, a Turkish official told the AFP news agency. "We are able to confirm that there are clashes at the air base in Konya between the security forces and putschists resisting arrest," the source said.

Meanwhile, a stand-off at Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen airport, on the Asian side of the city, ended with alleged coup supporters surrendering, a government official says.

An official also confirmed that police fired warning shots at coup participants who were resisting arrest. The group eventually surrendered.

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